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How Guru Mayadhar Raut redefined Odissi

On Guru Purnima, recalling how Mayadhar Raut labored with a gaggle of exponents to present Odissi its classical standing

A guru is somebody who dispels the darkness (‘gu’ in Sanskrit means darkness and ‘ru’ means dispeller) of ignorance and provides the sunshine of data. Because the day I started to study the gorgeous dance type of Odissi from my guru, Mayadhar Raut, he transfomed my life. Within the 10 years I spent studying from him, I delved deeper into the artwork type and skilled it by myself phrases.

His educating was not restricted to method and efficiency. He helped me perceive the essence of Vaishnava philosophy that gave delivery to this dance on the Jagannath temple in Puri. He introduced a brand new dimension to studying, particularly when explaining the verses of Jayadeva’s Gita Govind.

Through the years, I realised how essential it’s transcend concept and type and perceive an artwork additionally from its socio-cultural and historic views. I understood what is supposed by a holistic strategy to studying and educating. Even at present, each time I carry out my guru’s compositions, I uncover new meanings within the items.

Born on July 6, 1930 in Kantapenhara, a small village within the Cuttack district of Odisha, Mayadhur Raut began working in numerous theatre corporations from the age of seven. Later, in his teenagers, he joined the Annapurna theatre, the place he met guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and guru Pankaj Charan Das. It was the nice grasp Pankaj Charan Das who taught him Odissi and Mahari.

In 1952, Mayadhar Raut joined Kala Vikas Kendra in Cuttack as its first guru. His dance courses grew to become extremely popular. He took the initiative to organize a syllabus in line with which Odissi started to be taught.

His honest pursuit of the artwork type was acknowledged in 1955, when he was awarded a scholarship to check Kathakali and Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra in Chennai. It’s right here that he mastered the Natyshastra and Abhinaya Darpana, which led him to redefine the grammar of Odissi and the abhinaya vocabulary. It’s at Kalakshetra that he gained deeper insights into choreography — it additional enhanced his capacity to choreograph dance-dramas equivalent to ‘Tapaswini’, ‘Meghdoot’, ‘Brij Leela’, ‘Krishna Charitam’, and ‘Geeta Govindam’ — and he was additionally launched to Carnatic music.

Throughout summer season holidays, he would return to Kala Vikas Kendra and put into follow the data gained at Kalakshetra. He modified his strategy to hasta mudras, and likewise launched sanchari bhava in abhinaya, which he described as “abhinaya is the ocean and sanchari bhava is the wave within the ocean which in the end settles down in it.” Many famend artistes skilled underneath him in these summer season programs.

As the recognition of Odissi grew, guru Mayadhar grew to become a part of the rising group of Odissi dancers who had realised that it was essential to type an affiliation to present a extra structured and systematic form to Odissi. This led to the Jayantika institute being constituted in 1957, which helped Odissi to emerge stronger. Round 1964, Odissi was recognised by Sangeet Natak Akademi as a classical dance type. The remainder, as they are saying, is historical past.

In July 1967, when guru Mayadhar got here to show Odissi in Delhi, individuals weren’t conscious of the dance fashion, however vastly impressed by his work, Sumitra Charatram invited him to show on the famed Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, New Delhi, the place he began the Odissi division in 1970.

Lots of India’s main Odissi dancers at present are guru Mayadhar’s disciples, together with Kiran Segal, Geeta Mahalik, Ramani Ranjan Jena, Hare Krishna Behera, and Aloka Panikar. Lots of his college students have began dance establishments to impart coaching within the Mayadhar fashion.

On the age of 91, the grasp, an establishment in himself, leads a lifetime of satisfaction, realizing the significance of his physique of labor and contributions to Odissi.

The author is a well known Odissi dancer.

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