Odissi workshop in the serenity of Western Ghats

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Odissi workshop in the serenity of Western Ghats

Mangaluru: In a unique move for the first time, the Odissi dance form will find its way into the multi-cultural and multi fine arts region of Western coast. Odissi, as we know, has taken its roots from the East Coast and is known to be one of the forms of great Indian classical dance forms. But now starting this week on Thursday (16 January) a four-day long Odissi training and demo session will be conducted by Indian well known Odissi exponent and Mangaluru’s own Aishwarya Hegde who has scaled great heights in Odissi dance form in the country if not in the world.

The workshop that is fondly named as ‘Hejje’ is a project of popularising Odissi in regions that have potential to have greater participation of young aspiring dancers to initiate themselves into learning and practice the intricate performing art of Odissi. Aishwarya is spearheading this initiative through Deepam Dance Academy. The workshop will be held at the picturesque surroundings of the Estate Resorts at Nelligudde Road in Ashwatapuram in Moodbidri. Hejje – Winter Dance Retreat is a unique opportunity for dancers to spend 4 days secluded from the hustle-bustle of daily life and dive deep into the ocean of dance.

“The four-day workshop will feature a combination of Dance theory and practical sessions. Each session will be focused on understanding the structure of Odissi repertoire, Abhinaya (acting in dance) Nayikas (heroines) and their roles in classical dance forms and most importantly sharing of experiences stretched into four days. Warm-up sessions each day will be a combination of yoga and Kalarippayattu focusing on hip openers and body alignment. This is as classical as it could get in a training regimen for aspiring trainees in Odissi,” says Aishwarya Hegde.

The retreat will be conducted at The Estate Resort located amidst the western ghats in Moodbidri, Karnataka. The course is designed for dancers to experience dance through theoretical, physical and spiritual learning.

Aishwarya Hegde who will return to India from a foreign assignment will head straight to Moodbidri.

About the resource person -Aishwarya Hegde

Aishwarya is a gifted Odissi dancer, instructor and choreographer at Deepam Odissi Academy Muscat. She started her training in Odissi at the early age of seven in Muscat under Guru Deepak Roy. Her fluid grace, innate sense of rhythm and vibrant sense of expression have made her the performer she is today. Aishwarya began her dance journey with Bharatnatyam at the age of 4 and was introduced to Odissi at the age of 7.

Entranced by the movements of this East Indian classical dance form as a little girl, Aishwarya has followed her calling with a vision, rigorous training and a passion for her art.

Today, she is an accomplished danseuse in the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Gharana of Odissi. With numerous performances to her credit, Aishwarya’s love and passion of her art has brought her much personal satisfaction and public recognition. Her lucid expressions and talent have earned her acclaim. She pays all credit to her Guru’s vision that has brought her to the heights of success that she sees today.

A a part of the Deepam performing unit, Aishwarya has performed at premier dance festivals and many prominent sabhas in Mangalore, Vishakapatnam, & Bhubaneshwar. Some of her significant performances are at ‘Bharat Nrityotsav’ in Vishakapatnam, ‘Odissi International’ in Bhubaneshwar and Kolkata, ‘Nagamandala Utsav’ in Mangalore. Aishwarya had the opportunity to exhibit her talent at the ‘Laasyotsava Festival’ in Hong Kong along with her Deepam troupe. Exploring her capabilities as a choreographer, Aishwarya conceptualised Deepam’s home productions ‘Gunjan’ in Muscat (2014) and ‘Aikyatan’ in Durgapur (2018).

She was awarded the ‘Natya Saradhi’ title for her performance at the Bharat Nrityotsava by the Nataraj Academy of Music and Dance, Vishakapatnam in January 2014. She was awarded the ‘Laasya Bharathi’ title for her performance at the Laasyotsava dance festival in Hong Kong.

She was recently honoured with the Natyasri title by the Natraj Academy for her performance at the prestigious Vyshaki dance festival also held in Vishakapatnam.

With a strong sense of social consciousness, Aishwarya tries to bring in a relevant message through her choreographies. Each of her performances are a blend of authenticity and modernity. What began as a childhood fascination has matured into a lifelong quest for Aishwarya to seek the essence of Odissi as embodied in the play of Abhinaya, Raga and Tala.

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