Odissi (O-ri-see) dance is an exquisite representation of the Hindustani traditions of art and the tantric practice of balancing Shiva and Shakti within the body and with the cosmos. It origins date back to the second century BC and also benefits from a cultural revitalization in this last century that truly brings the artistry of the Indian temple sculptures and the soul of its people to real life for all that explore its beauty.
I began my study of the classical Indian art form of Odissi Dance as a first generation child born in the USA to Indian parents who very much wanted me to live in the beauty of our ancestry and cultural history. From 1984, at 4 years of age, until 1998 I studied vigorously with Guru Sangetta Mohapatra Kar. She was also a student of Odissi dance from age 4, and studied under Guru Padma Vibushan Kelucharun Mohapatra for more than 15 years before beginning teaching in the USA, and visited him yearly to continue her practice until he stopped teaching. I continued to study and dance with her while completing my Bachelors and Masters when I was home on vacations also. In 2003, I began teaching Odissi dance in the midwest USA and continues to do so today from my home in Madison, WI, USA. In 2018, I re-entered study while traveling the world with various teachers, all in the strict lineage of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. As a grown woman I wanted to revisit fundamental stylings to polish and gain deeper understanding of the form, and my own life force energy in relation to movement and meditation. Other teachers I have studies with include Guru Poushali Mukherjee in Kolkata, INDIA, and various students of Srjan: Revital Carroll, Colleena Shakti, Taissia Shpulnikova, and Elena Catalano.
I have performed for years as both a solo artist and in group dances at cultural event and celebrations. My performances and classes explore balance, ancient hand postures known as mudras, rhythmic steps, eye movements, expressions, sacred geometry, pranayama breath exercises, meditation, energetic control, emotion, and the storytelling of mystical gods, goddesses, humanity, and nature. Come experience my classes as a drop-in, private, or as a regular student. All levels of dancers welcome.
Private instruction for individuals/groups as well as individual and group performance available via negotiation. Please inquire via contact in the form below.
Photographs: Guru Poushali Mukherjee offering pushpanjali to Lord Jagannath, Raka Bandyo performing at Bhaktifest, Raka Bandyo teaching Chouwka at UW Madison School of Dance, Guru Sangeeta Kar in Tribanghi at Konark Sun Temple, Raka Bandyo performance glamor shots