Dr. Aparupa Chatterjee and ODC

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Solo performance of Divya on the occasion of  her Manchpravesham

After an eventful weekend in college station for Maitreyi’s Odissi dance performance, we are back in Austin. Divya’s “Manchapravesham” and “Guru Pranidhana Festival”, the annual Odissi event of Guru Aparupa Chatterjee’s dance school were “treat” to the eyes of those, who have taste for Indian classical dance forms. It was the celebration of years of hard work, dedication and most importantly the passion for dance in its original form.

While Divya made her wonderful debut into the world of classical dance at Rudder theatre, her love for dance and excellence was quite evident from her every performance on stage, keeping the audience wondering about the number of hours put together to put up a show of that magnitude. Kudo to her and her discipline and achievements at the age of thirteen. She surely has more milestones to come in her life. It’s not just the love for dance but also the continuous effort and lovely attitude that she carries makes her the most lovable person in her entire dance group.

While Divya’s manchapravesh showed us what passion can do to your life and how it can help you reach new heights, there was this galaxy of stars that came down to mesmerise us as we had the audience of some of the most fabulous Odissi dance performances next evening, in the pious atmosphere of Omkareshwara temple in Navasota. Right from “Mangalacharan” and “Batu” to “Dasvatar” and from “Ye ho Vithala” to “Vande Mataram” the dancer stunned the audience with their graceful and supple movements.

A renowned Odissi dancer Smt. Madhulita Mohapatra from Banglore was the highlight of the program as she gracefully displayed her Odissi dance skills through Abhinaya as well as Pallavi form of the Odissi dance. The abhinaya based on Krishna’s childhood was one of her masterpieces. It was an ethereal experience to watch her perform on this occasion.

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Smt. Madhulita Mohapatra

Odissi dance company and Odissi dance school are the offsprings of the strong desire of a passionate dance lover to come over all the odds and create something where many would find giving up as the most appropriate option. Having a well-established dance school in Texas, moving to Fargo must have been a tough decision for Dr. Aparupa Chatterjee, but her determination never let her settle into that thought of giving up at any cost. She not only kept traveling back to Texas but ended up creating the first of its kind touring dance company to introduce a larger set of audience to this beautiful Indian classical dance form and also to keep the ancient tradition alive.

Odissi dance company performs in various corners of the world including India and the United States and has performers coming from farthest locations scattered all over the US. Training students in multiple locations and bringing them up to speed to be able to perform on stage is extremely challenging. Dr. Aparupa travels extensively and also takes advantage of today’s technologies to not only train students but to motivate them to practice and excel in their dance skills.

In my humble opinion, it’s not only the classical dance community but the entire Indian community would be indebted to this humongous effort to keep this beautiful tradition going and to make people aware of the richness of traditions that India has to offer.

This tradition goes back to the “Guru Shishya Parampara” where Guru is giving all he has to his disciples and not only teach them the dance skills but make them better humans. Its a sadhana in its purest form and seeing all this happening in the far away corner of the world several miles away from India is just amazing.

Dr. Aparupa Chatterjee’s love for Odissi is evident. Having a professional doctorate degree it won’t be difficult for her to find a six-figure salary and settle down with her family. But her passion won’t let her do simple things. She believes in dreams and however difficult it might be, she has decided to stick to her passion and love. It takes huge courage and determination to walk that path and see all her dreams come true.

I believe she along with her talented students would create history in the future of dance and the entire Indian dance community would be indebted to her shining stars adding more flavors and colors to this dance form.

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Dr Aparupa Chatterjee

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Mangalacharan performance

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Batu

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Dasvatara

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Maitreyi along with her Guru

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Maitreyi performing Dasavatara

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One of the avataras in Dasavatara

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Dr. Aparupa Chatterjee performing Dasavatara

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Some of the Odissi veterans from ODC giving their absolute best

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Maitreyi along with her fellow dancers performing Patadeep Pallavi

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Vande Mataram Performance

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Vande Mataram Performance

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Ye ho Vithala

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