Budding Odissi dancers display their skills

Budding Odissi dancers display their skills

Dancing Stars

Budding Odissi dancers display their skills

Fifty young dancers who have been training under Shagun Bhutani, a noted Odissi and Seraikella Chhau exponent performed ‘Odissi ke Rang, Bachpan ke Sang’ recently. As a part of the curriculum of their institute Madhyam, these students perform every year before they break for summer. Senior Odissi dan­s­euse Padmashri Ranjana Gauhar awarded the children with certificates of participation.

The kids who performed Odissi dance were from the age group of 6 to 17. The performances were about their learning of traditional Odissi dance and all the students showed their craft on stage. The main objective of the performances were to enhance their knowledge of stage craft and in addition to this performance, it was a traditional repertoire of their chosen styles.

“It is always a heart warming experience to watch little children dance, especially if one has been teaching them. Odissi or any classical dance form is difficult at any age but if children who start young take to it beautifully, that beauty gives immense joy. Also, it has been their constant struggle to find new meanings by going deeper into Odissi dance and to explore their limitless boundaries through these kind of collaborative performances.”

Shagun has conducted numerous workshops for Odissi and Seraikella Chhau in USA, Mexico, Italy, Japan and South Africa. A multi-faceted, richly layered background in her own dance training, that includes American Contemporary Dance, Hatha Yoga and Zen Dance, have helped her to enrich her own teaching methodology that she uses effectively to work with children.

“The experience of performing is a very essential part of dance training and therefore a performance like this reflects the process and the different stages of learning in a classical dance tradition,” added Shagun.

Over the years, these little students of Madhyam have presented many successful performances. Prominent among these are The Magic Blue, Little Rivers, Pushpita, Ektali: Odissi to the beat of four and Odissi ek aur do.

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