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“Singar Mani”, “Odissi Jyoti” Kaustavi Sarkar, currently student of Guru Ratikant Mohapatra stepped into the world of Odissi under Guru Pausali Mukherjee. She has been a devotee of this art form for the past ten years during which she has performed extensively representing it at the national and international front. Apart from doing post graduate research in Economics she is also enrolled at the Rabundra Bhratai University for theoretical knowledge on Odissi, its anthropological and aestheic background.
A National Scholarship holder and recipient of Baisakhi Award, Kaustavi is dedicated to serve Odissi and spread it to different parts of the world. She got accepted in the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, New York for cultural exchange. She is empanelled with ICCR, EZCC, and Sangeet Natak Academy performing under all three. She has participated in numerous festivals, some of them are Raindrops, Chhandak, NrityaMela, Raja Mahotsav, Naveen Kalakar, Kal Ke Kalakar, Baisakhi, Pratibha, Samsmaranam, Vasantotsav, Sadhna, Uday Shankar, Konark, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Ceremony etc. held all over the country. She has also performed/taught extensively in the US and has been pivotal in organizing workshops and shows for her Guru Shri Ratikant Mohapatra and her Guruma Smt. Sujata Mohapatra.


As written by Dr. Ratna Roy, Odissi may well claim to be the earliest classical Indian dance style on the basis of archaeological evidence, the most outstanding being the Ranigumfa caves of the second century B.C. in Orissa. Scholars have dated these caves and their carvings to be earlier than the writing of Bhrata's Natyashastra which is a 'theory' of 'praxis', 'theory' of 'aesthetics'. The Natyashastra speaks of regional varieties, one amongst these is the eastern southern style known as the Odhra Mgadhi style which can be identified as the earliest precursor of present Odissi. My journey through Odissi has been through "Uday Shankar India Culture Centre" under Guru Amala Shankar, "Gunjan" under Guru Pausali Mukherjee and "Srjan" under Guru Ratikant Mohapatra. Presently being in the repertory of internationally acclaimed Srjan founded by Pdmavibhushan Guru Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra, I believe in tasteful creativity, immaculate rigour and aesthetic blend of the age old Classical dance and its neoclassical version. I believe committment to perfection in the classical arts is analogous to the perennial flow of the river which flows without loss of identity and continuity but has potential for change and renewal.


Living outside the country, even while undertaking lessons in contemporary dances from the dance capital, I realized that my dance form has the “ability to evoke a feeling of blessedness”, “the contemplative aspect” and above all the “spiritualism”. Dancers often feel the urge to go beyond the performative, entertainment aspect and their souls yearn to find the element that gives dance validity in life itself.


1. Aesthetics:
Abhinaya Darpana says the actor's task is "educating" the spectator by "stimulating in him the latent possibility of aesthetic experience". The emotions (bhava) existing in the performer develop into sentiments (rasa) in the spectator. Cultural history of India has relevance to Indian Theatrical Practice which is one of the three aspects of dance, nritta, natya and nritya. My project is to delve deep into the existing literature and develop a literary review on the aesthetics of the classical and the folk dance with its social relevance in the present world.

2. Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and the Gita Govinda:
The pioneering efforts of the maestro led to the revival of Odissi in 1950's. This is my humble endeavour towards understanding the master and his projections of Jayadeva's Gitagovinda. His seemingly understated delineation concealed a powerful and inspired inner resource, which gradually unfolds before the viewer. He is a virtuoso performer and a sensitive interpreter of the nuances.

3. Economics of dance:
Being an Econ graduate I wish to understand the economics behind Indian dance. I wish to conduct furthur sampling surveys for better understanding. There have been certain studies conducted in the US and the UK, also in Sweden regarding this phenomenon. Financial struggle of dancers worldwide living on sub starvation wages ("Dancing on the Bottom Line", NewYork Times) is motivation enough to deal with this topic seriously. If Dance therapy, Dance Pchychology, Dance Injury can be some offshoots of the main branch, I would like to explore the economic viability of this project in future.

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