Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 27:
“Yes it sounds surprising but it is true,” says a smiling and very proud Saswat Joshi all the way from Paris.The stylish Odissi dance guru from Bhubaneswar has traveled to Paris for conducting a workshop in the Odisha cultural week.The workshop conducts a variety of dance forms from Odisha and the french students are absolutely smitten by the Sambalpuri folk dance Dalkhai which has become a major hit.
The Odisha Cultural week is organised every year by Mahina Khanum in association with the Centre Mandapa of Paris owned by Milena Salvini and the Indian Embassy. Milena who is almost 80 years old is an accomplished Kathakali dancer and owns the Centre of Mandapa in Paris. Mahina herself a talented dancer is also the disciple of famous Odissi dancer Madhavi Mudgal .
It is very heartening to see the french ladies shaking a leg to the foot tapping beats of earthy Dalkhai and enjoying themselves full hilt. It is said that dance has got no barriers and the blending of two cultures via the Indian classical and folk dances is proof enough of this beautiful bonding.
“While I am training them the only glitch I sometimes face is the language. But then dance overcomes all barriers and my students have become apt at understanding my dance language. Smahn, Ming, Vergini are some of the dancers who love singing the Dalkhai song and each one of them love the new form of dance. Even though the language is difficult for them to understand they enjoy it when I translate and laugh a lot when they understand the meaning . They have started calling each other Dalkhai after I explained that in Sambalpur young girls lovingly call each other in this name. The next session to be covered in the workshop is the Chhau and Mahari dance and they are very excited about it,” informed Saswat.