Nrityagram’s Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy
Songs of Love and Longing
The acclaimed duo from South India's Nrityagram Dance Ensemble performs solos and duets drawing from the Gita Govinda, a 12th century ballad of immortal love, with live musical accompaniment. Through the compelling physicality of Odissi, one of India's classical dance forms, dancers lead audiences on a transcendent journey.
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, based in the village of Nrityagram near Bangalore, India is regarded as one of the nation’s foremost dance companies, and leading exemplar of India’s classical dance form Odissi. A dance of love and passion, Odissi originated in the temples of Orissa in North East India. The form is marked by a sculpturesque sensuousness that transports audiences to enchanted worlds of magic and spirituality.
Although steeped in and dedicated to ancient practice, the Ensemble is also committed to carrying Indian dance into the twenty-first century. Nrityagram's dancers not only explore creative expansions of tradition but are also able to commission fresh compositions from leading Indian classical musicians.
Surupa Sen studied Bharatanatyam as a young child. As the first student at Nrityagram, she began her Odissi training with Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. She also studied Odissi with Nrityagram’s founder, Protima Gauri, and Abhinaya with Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan. Sen is now Nrityagram’s artistic director. Sen participated in the International Choreographer’s Residency at the American Dance Festival in 2000. She has since choreographed and performed work in India and around the world.
Sen is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Raza Foundation Award (2006); the Yagnaraman Award from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai (2008); and the prestigious Nritya Choodamani from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai (2011).
Bijayini Satpathy began her Odissi training in Odisha at age seven. She made Nrityagram her home in 1993, and has since performed around the world with the Ensemble and as a soloist. Satpathy is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Mahari Award (2003), awarded to the best Odissi dancer of the year; the Sanskriti Award (2007); Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar (2007); and the prestigious Nritya Choodamani from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai (2011).
As Nrityagram’s director of dance education, Satpathy works on extending the vocabulary of the traditional form and formulating Nrityagram’s dance pedagogy. Through her research, she has developed an acessible Odissi training program for beginning and advanced dancers, as well as teachers.