Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 5:
When two ancient traditions meet each other then the outcome surely will be something exotic and unique.
In a major boost to the Odissi classical dance which is a 2000-year-old tradition of Odisha, an Odissi Dance Festival is scheduled to be held on May 27 at the prestigious Oxford University and will also be recorded as the first ever Indian Classical Dance festival in the 900-year-old Oxford that has created some of world’s most notable personalities.
‘Oxford Odissi fest’was the brainchild of Baisali Mohanty who is a post-graduate student at Oxford and the founder of Oxford Odissi Centre. It is being organised by Oxford Odissi Centre in collaboration with Oxford India Society and the Indian High Commission in London. The festival will be attended by a host of dignitaries including the Indian High Commissioner to UK and other senior functionaries at the Indian High Commission, the proctor and members of congregation of Oxford University, British parliamentarians and diplomats, British artists, celebrities and members of British media.
The festival to be held at the famous Magdalen Grove auditorium of Oxford University and will include performances by renowned Odissi exponent Padma Shri Dr. Ileana Citaristi, Oxford Odissi Centre founder Baisali Mohanty, Turkish dancer Guzin Yener, Nisha Somasundaram and many other notable dance exponents from over 11 countries. Besides, featuring Odissi solo, duet and group performances, the festival will also include jugalbandi of Odissi dance with Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Mohiniyattam. A photographic exhibition on the history of Odissi dance will also be on display in the Grove auditorium foyer.
It is noteworthy that the Oxford Odissi Centre was founded in December 2015 by Baisali Mohanty, an ALC Global Fellow at Oxford University writing her dissertation on ‘Nuclear Diplomacy’. The centre apart from holding regular Odissi dance classes for members of Oxford University, also conducts workshops of the same performing art at other world-renowned institutions in United Kingdom including University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, University College London (UCL), King’s College London, University of Manchester and University of Edinburgh.