Walkers delighted over getting Odissi Guru as guest guide on International Dance Day at Ekamra Walks

Bhubaneswar: Love for dance, dancers and how Odisha’s classical form of dance originated from the temple sculptures, was the central theme at the 72nd Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit, on the International Dance Day, today.
Adding to the celebrating atmosphere for the international occasion, Guru Padmasri Ileana Citaristi participated in the heritage walk today and explained the genesis, evolution, patronage and the traditions of this beautiful and one of the most sensuous dance forms of India.
Taking over as a celebrity guide today at the Mukteswar temple, internationally renowned danseuse Ileana Citaristi explained about the various forms of “Alasakanyas’’ found in various temple walls across the state. Pointing at the sculptures on the beautiful Mukteswar temple, a 10th Century marvel of Kalingan temple building era, the Italy-born expert told about “Mugdha Nayika’’, “Veenakara’’, “Padmagandha’’, “Nupura Padika’’ and “Matru Murti’’.
The danseuse not only described the details of the “Bhangi’’ or postures of the “Alasakanyas’’, but also answered the queries of the participants of a team of nearly 40 walkers.
At Parasurameswar temple, which is a wonder of the 7th Century AD era, she explained the “Chauka’’ or square like position of the human being. “It is also referred to Jagannath position as the Lord without limbs sits on his posture.
Later at Art Vision, the Odissi dance learning institute established and run by the renowned dancer, explained the various strata of Odissi dance form. She explained its various stages and said how they are related to each other and also to the society as well.
“Mangala Charan’’ in Odissi is like a seed. Similarly, “Batu’’ is like a trunk of a tree. “Pallavi’’ is efflorescence or blooming of the flowers and the “Abhinaya’’ is just like bearing of fruits on the plant. Lastly, “Moksh’’ or salvation is the fruits falling down from the activity.
To a question by a research scholar from Fakir Mohan University Sai Rajesh on what drives the seed to germinate and propagate, the exponent of Odissi and Chow, Ileana Citaristi said “the main process of taking the Odissi tradition out is the “Guru-Sishya Parampara’’ which could also be true for other folk dance forms as the State has a diversity of various dance forms as the cultural heritage is rich with a deep-rooted existence.

According to Wikipedia, International Dance Day is a global celebration of dance, created by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the main partner for the performing arts of UNESCO. The event takes place every year on April 29, the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), the creator of modern ballet. The day strives to encourage participation and education in dance through events and festivals held on the date all over the world. UNESCO formally recognize ITI to be the creators and organizers of the event.
Later, at her dance institute the dance expert also added that as the pure form of Odissi and other Classical dance forms are getting influenced by the Ollywood, Bollywood, Hollywood and the modern dances, there is an urgency to keep the original compositions of our great Gurus in long-term documented formats and there should be Copyright attached to those original creations. “On this International Dance Day we should start thinking on this direction,’’ she added.
Meanwhile, today’s Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit on the International Dance Day, comprised walkers from various walks of life. Families, IT professionals, researchers, Odissi dancers and visitors from Spain were part of the great experience. Four kids were also part of the walk and they enjoyed their time and loved their vacation-time with a meaningful learning.
Initially at the beginning of the walk as it was raining moderately, all the walkers including the guest Ileana Citaristi have to take out their umbrellas to brave the rain and enjoy the heritage learning. However, the rain later subsided and the weather became beautifully romantic for the heritage walkers to explore their love for the prized monuments of Old Town area. They also had a great time inside the medicinal plant garden Ekamra Van.

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