Latest Concert

Odissi by Joyoti
Venue: Upper Yarra Arts Centre

Date: Saturday 10th April, 2010
Time: 8pm start

    Full - $24
    Concession - $20

Odissi Workshop
Venue: Upper Yarra Arts Centre

Date: Friday 9th April, 2010
Time: 12pm-4pm

    Cost - $30

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The Art - Odissi dance

Odissi, the dance: ancient Indian classical form of Temple dance of Orissa.

The style: graceful, elegant, sensuous and lyrical, - is a marvellous balance of crisp footwork enhanced by the soft flow of upper portion of the body. This is esteemed the most amatory and graceful of dances.

Every aspect of Odissi dance is governed by the "shastras" (grammar). All its poses, steps and movements have been classified and codified. With flashes of heightened dramatisation, the "bhava" (emotion) is chaste and orthodox. Its music is sweet and melodious, pure and classical, sung accompanied by an array of instruments.

The rescue of this dance form, from obscurity in the last few decades of cultural renaissance, and its subsequent popularity has been through the dedication of Late Mrs. Sanjukta Panigrahi - the revered dance artiste and teacher of our times.

Sanjukta Panigrahi, disciple of great masters of tradition, was the foremost and widely respected exponent of Odissi of this century. She traveled all over the world, performing and teaching, and comments on her majestic artistry are.." unmatched in richness ... robustly earthly ... subtly intimate ... imaginative ... spellbinding and dramatic ... feast for the spirit as well as for the eyes..".

She visited Australia four times during the last two decades on national tour. One of the most significant contribution of Mrs. Panigrahi to the Australian dance arena is her ardent disciple Joyoti.

Following the footsteps of Guru Sanjukta with her unique style of Odissi, Joyoti continues to make mark in cultural scene across Australia and overseas. With her lively expressions, grace and vitality, she brings to life the speaking, smiling stones of Orissa, through her pleasing performances in Odissi.

The sad demise of Mrs. Sanjukta Panigrahi is a great loss to the whole world of classical dance scene, particularly of India's contribution. Joyoti's loss is of enormous personal nature, as she was carefully groomed and almost hand woven in Odissi by her Guruma.

Joyoti now carries the added responsibility of continuing to pursue Sanjukta's style, to whatever little extent possible, as will be judged by the connoisseurs and her peers.

Joyoti pays obeisance to Guruma Sanjukta all the while ...

The Artiste

a devout disciple of Guru Sanjukta
... reaching ... places ... people ... press
... Brisbane ... Canberra ... Kolkata ... Melbourne
... Montreal ... New York ... San Franciso ... Sydney

The cultural renaissance in multicultural Australia has developed an exponent of Odissi dance in Joyoti Das.

Following the footsteps of Guru Sanjukta with her unique style of Odissi, Joyoti continues to make mark in cultural scene across Australia and overseas. With her lively experience, grace and vitality, she brings to life the speaking, smiling stones of Orissa.

Joyoti started her dance in Bharata-Natyam style in Australia at an early age. Early artistic inclinations, initiation by a master teacher Dr Chandrabhanu of Melbourne, and careful coaching with fondness by him and subsequent blessings of Guru Sanjukta Panigrahi and her personal care and coaching have developed this dance artist as she is today.

Joyoti had her Odissi initiation in a variant style, also under Guru Chandrabhanu in 1984, and showed promise. She was one of the six dance students of the school selected to join the then Bharatam Dance Company of Melbourne, performing in many professional concerts and toured Malaysia with the Company in 1984, which enriched her performance and experience.

Guru Sanjukta visited Australia on a performance tour in 1986, her first tour of the continent down under. She noticed Joyoti in course of one of her workshops. Judging by her prowess and interest she expressed her willingness to help her.

Later same year, Joyoti visited Calcutta, India on a performance tour. She was sponsored to present Bharata-Natyam recital in a dance concert, wherein legendary Sanjukta presented Odissi recital. That might have been the further spark that Sanjukta noticed in young danseuse, and set her thinking about Joyoti. As was possibly destined, the two met again on different occasions at different places.

Guru-Sishya relationship developed

Sanjukta accepted Joyoti under her tutelage. Thus Joyoti was fortunate to have Guru Sanjukta’s blessings, and ever since till her sad demise, almost every year she spent time under Guru Sanjukta’s careful coaching in traditional "gurukul" way of learning, at her abode in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India. Sanjukta presented Joyoti on her Odissi "Mancha Prabesh" to the connoisseurs in India.

After Sanjukta:

As Joyoti believes in 'learning never ends', she continues to seek help and guidance and keep in touch with new creations in India.

Guru Poushali Mukherjee of Calcutta: A senior teacher and an artiste in Odissi, a versatile Pakhwaj (drum in Odissi), and a devout student of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, is helping Joyoti at present to develop her further in this artform. With her personal care and compassion, she continues to help Joyoti to recover from her loss and carry Sanjukta's mantle.

About Joyoti:

Guru Dr. Chandrabhanu of Melbourne " ... highly competent dancer, with beautiful measure of grace and elegance she exhibits broad sweeping dynamism ... "

Guru Anandavalli of Sydney "... a mature radiant artist ... Has innate love for her dance that shines through when she dances ..."


Excerpts from the Press:

Dancing characterised by subtlety and warmth ... - Dance Australia

Joyoti is one of those rare dance artist who had perfected the two very difficult forms of both Bharata Natyam and Odissi and could perform with ease and spontaneity ... - Sanskriti Calcutta

She reflected considerable grasp over idiom ... Perfect measure of Chauka in her posture and her movements, hand gestures and footwork stood our for clarity ... - The Telegraph Calcutta

Endowed with pleasing stage presence and with expressive eyes ... showed immense promise - The Statesman, Calcutta

And from her mentors:

The artist who maintain pure and aesthetic traditions, without selfishness, arrogance or personal aggrandizement deserve our support- and gratitude. Joyoti is sincere to this tradition and gives us hope that all students of dance will bring to her same unassuming but courageous dedication. I pray she continues the spirit of great gurus she has been fortunate to be with. In a world gone mad, art is one of the few refuges left to the human being and the sincere artist is a precious being - Nesa Eliezer, one of very respected mentors

performed to perfection, giving the movements clear diction and lyrical dynamism…large expressive eyes helped to convey the feeling of "Joy de Vivre" - Tara Rajkumar, a senior dance teacher

Audience feedback: Art critics, eastern and western connoisseurs from her solo concerts in India, North America, Canada and Australia

... spectacular display that Joyoti put on enthralled by beauty and grace ... it was the most enjoyable night of dance or theater that I have attended ... Joyoti’s performance ... immaculate ...

so mature ... so graceful ... very pleasing ...

... almost a kid off the stage ... grows in stature on stage to such a mature artist ...