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

The Artiste
Teaching About Me

Dance has been a part of my life almost since I could walk. It grew into my soul during my youngest days in India and traveled with me to Australia. I practice the ancient Indian classical dance forms - Odissi and Bharat-Natyam. Dance has taken me around the world - from Melbourne Australia to Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane Montreal Canada, San Francisco, New York and Calcutta. Following the footsteps of Guru Sanjukta with her unique style of Odissi, I endeavour to continuously make a mark in cultural scene across Australia and overseas.

I started my dance in Bharata-Natyam style in Australia at an early age. Early artistic inclinations, initiation was nurtured by a master teacher Dr Chandrabhanu of Melbourne. Subsequent blessings of Guru Sanjukta Panigrahi and her personal care and coaching has helped me develop into the artist as I am today.

I had my Odissi initiation, also under Guru Chandrabhanu in 1984. I 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 my performance dynamics. I performed my "Arangetram" (full-fledged solo debut recital, in Bharata-Natyam) in 1986 in Melbourne and then later in that year performed at Calcutta, India, and earned rave reviews from viewers and press. In the mean time Guru Sanjukta visited Australia on a performance tour in 1986, her first tour of the continent down under. She noticed me in course of one of her workshops. Judging by my prowess and interest she expressed her willingness to help further.

Later, in the same year, I visited Calcutta, India on a performance tour. I 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 me, and wanted to contribute in the enrichment of the talent I had within myself. As was possibly destined, the two met again on different occasion at different place. Guru-Sishya relationship developed.

Sanjukta accepted me under her tutelage. Thus I was fortunate to have Guru Sanjukta's blessings, and ever since till her sad demise, almost every year I spent time under Guru Sanjukta's careful coaching in traditional "gurukul" way of learning, at her abode in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India. My Odissi "mancha prabesh" (solo debut recital) was presented by Mrs. Panigrahi herself with her accompanying live musicians in 1990 at Calcutta, followed by rave reviews in media. Here again I was also blessed from Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi, who had provided his melodious voice in my concert.

The sad demise of Mrs. Sanjukta Panigrahi is a great loss to the whole world of classical dance scene, particularly of India's contribution. My loss is of enormous personal nature, as I was carefully groomed and almost hand woven in Odissi, by my Guruma, and lot more creations were to have come. I now carry the added responsibility of continuing to pursue Sanjukta's style and contribute to the Odissi Dance scene, to whatever little extent possible. My learning never ends. I continue to seek help and guidance and keep in touch with India which is the heart of this classical dance culture.

Guru Poushali Mukherjee of Calcutta is a senior teacher and an artiste in Odissi. She is a versatile musician who plays the Pakhwaj (drum in Odissi), and is a devout student of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. She is helping me at present to develop further in this art form. With her personal care and compassion, she continues to help me to recover from my loss and carry Sanjukta's mantle.