Farjana Yasmin (Research Scholar)
Department of Performing Arts (Dance), Sister Nivedita University
Kolkata, West Bengal
Among the classical dances, Odissi is one of the major classical dances. With time, the dance performances of various Odissi gurus spread Odissi dance outside India and other countries. Like other Indian classical dances in Bangladesh, Odissi dance is also growing in popularity. In 1985, Padma Vibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra’s illustrious disciple, Smt. Sanjukta Panigrahi received the first Odissi classical dance promotion. In 1989 Smt. Sani Mahapatra first popularized Odissi dance in the dance style of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra in Bangladesh. At present Odissi dance has been attached to the dance department in Bangladesh University of Dhaka. Also, Odissi training is being given at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Indian High Commission, IGCCR, Shanta Mariam Private University, and various institutions. As a result, the promotion and expansion of Odissi dance have been significantly noticeable in the past few years. This paper is an attempt to evaluate the present situation of Odissi dance in post post-independent era in Bangladesh.
Keywords: Odissi, dance, Bangladesh, Indian, classical, Kolkata
How to cite this paper:
Yasmin, Farjana. 2024. “The Evolution of Odissi Dance in the Post-Independence Era: Through the Lens of Indo-Bangladesh Background.” Sangeet Galaxy 13(1): 55-66. www.sangeetgalaxy.co.in
Indian dance is an invaluable creation of our world culture. If we review the history and see that with the change of era, the art of dance is also developing, it can be said like the flow of a river. Just like the river is constantly flowing in the same flow path, this Indian dance art has been continuously flowing along the same flow path for ages. We mainly see Indian dance art in three ways. Namely: Tribal Dance, Folk Dance and Classical Dance.
Among these classical dances, Odissi is one of the major classical dances. Among other classical dances of Kolkata in Bangladesh, Odissi dance gained popularity much earlier. With time, the dance performance of various Odissi gurus has given rise to a huge spread of Odissi dance outside India and other countries.
When there was an undivided Bengal or an undivided India,
The entire history of Indian dance can be summarized as follows:
1) The first phase (four hundred years from 600 BC to 200 BC) extends to the pre-Indian era.
2) The second stage is up to Bharata and his Anuchintagruna episode.
3) We find signs of the third stage in the introduction of dance in the poetry and drama of the Gupta period.
4) The fourth stage is the temple-cantered Devdasi dance.
5) The fifth phase is in the revival of sophisticated classical dances of the modern era against the cultural background of the nineteenth century (S. Bandyopadhyay 2015, 31).
It was at this time that undivided India was divided. Where this Bengal came to be known as East Pakistan. After 1947 with the independence of India, research initiatives have been observed in all areas of ancient Indian culture and tradition. And there has been a special enthusiasm for the restoration of ‘traditions’, resulting in the revival of Odissi dance. Under the initiative of Rajpal Loknath Mishra, four dance gurus respectively:
1/ Pankajcharan Das
2/ Devprasad Das
3/ Kelucharan Mahapatra
4/ Mayadhar Raut
These four Odissi gurus together formed an association called “Jayantika” in 1957 to work for the development of Odissi dance. Two more students were associated with this association. They are Dhirendranath Pattnaik and Kelucharan Guruji’s student Songjukta Panigrahi. Dhirendranath’s job was to record the topics discussed and Sanjukta Panigrahi’s job was to show the form followed by the Guru’s instructions (S. Bandyopadhyay 2015,102,103). However, the “Jayantika” association did not progress much till 1960.
In 1954 in the New Delhi inter-university competition, Priyanbada Mahanti, who won the first prize, performed the Odissi dance. The audience was fascinated by her dance performance. Although Odissi’s dance was not a classical dance then, this dance performance played an important role in the recognition phase.
Dhirendranath Pattnaik published the first Odissi book in the Oriya language in 1958, the English version of which came out in 1971.
Kalicharan Pattnaik conducted a seminar on Odissi dance in New Delhi in 1958.
An article appeared in MARG magazine in 1960 by Charles Febri and Mohan Khokar.
In the SNA seminar of 1958, the recognition of Odissi dance was demanded. Then two dance researchers Charles Febri and Professor Mohan Khokar took a special initiative. Charles Febri researched this dance for seven years and he named this dance as ‘Odissi dance’ in his article.
Later this classical dance came to be known as “Odissi Dance”.
When Odissi dance was being revived, in East Pakistan this folk-dance tribal dance was widely practiced during various festivals. After the war of independence in 1971, East Pakistan became independent as Bangladesh. After 1971, the reconstruction and practice of the culture of Bangladesh increased. At that time, the practice and demonstration of various elite dances of India such as Kathak, Bharatanatyam, and Manipuri dance began. The practice of Odissi dance was not much in the beginning. But gradually the practice and acceptance of Odissi dance increased. In 1985, Sanjukta Panigrahi performed the first Odissi dance in Bangladesh.
When Odissi dance got the status of classical dance. After that, from Odisha to Kolkata, it spread all over India and gained acceptance in other countries as well. In many countries, acceptance of Odissi dance or students are learning with interest. If we look at the history of Odissi dance, we can see how it evolved from Mahari to Gutipua and then through the efforts of different gurus. This dance is constantly advancing in the new Orient through the Guru tradition. Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata; Sri Sri University in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai Odissi dance practice is going on all over India. The development of Odissi dance is also noticeable in the promotion and dissemination of Indian classical dance. The practice of this dance is also being propagated and spread to other countries beyond the borders of India, such as Sri Lanka, America, London, Bangladesh etc. Among them Bangladesh is notable, higher education has been arranged by the university on this dance. In other words, the promotion of Odissi dance is constantly increasing. In 1985, the first Odissi classical dance was promoted in Bangladesh under the supervision of Smt. Sanjukta Panigrahi, a deserving disciple of Padma Vibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. Like other Indian classical dances in Bangladesh, Odissi dance is also growing in popularity. In 1989 Smt. Sani Mahapatra disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra introduced Odissi dance in the style of dance in Bangladesh for the first time. At present Odissi dance has been attached to the dance department of Dhaka University in Bangladesh. Also, Odissi training is being given at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Indian High Commission, IGCCR, Shanta Mariam Private University, and various institutions. As a result, the promotion and expansion of Odissi dance have been significantly noticeable in the past few years.
- After the Decades of Independence, Odissi dance gained the status of classical dance.
- In the post-independence era, it was revived again.
- From Odisha it has been spread all over India and gained acceptance in other countries as well.
Many students from Bangladesh have come to India for their higher education as BA/ MA/ Ph.D. etc.
A Brief History of Odissi Dance:
Odissi is a prominent dance genre among Indian classical dances. It originates from the ancient name Odra Magdhi. Historically, Odissi dance has been in vogue since the second century BC. Evidence of this can be found in various inscriptions, temples, and cave sculptures. After that, the history of Odissi dance is the history of Maharis. Devdasis are known to exist all over India since ancient times. In Odisha, they were called Maharis. This practice was prevalent in Odisha for a long time. The Maharis were the first artists of Odissi dance. It is known from the history of Odissi that the Keshari dynasty ruled continuously for three hundred years from the ninth century. During this period the influence of Buddhism began to decline and the Jagannath temple of Puri was built on the tide of Brahmanism. After the Kesari kings, Chorgangadeva of the Ganga dynasty built this temple. He was a scholar and art lover. A renaissance began in Odisha cantered around this temple.
Maharis did not have the right to dance anywhere except at Jagannathdeva’s ceremonies and were instructed in classical dance. Maharigana was pure. Pakhwaz and Manjira musicians and singers assisted them in their dance. Maharigana used to perform with the Padavali of Geet Govinda. From the time of Ramachandradev, the Gutipua, or male dance artist is known. With the loss, the dance practice became weak. They were trained in physical exercise and dance from childhood. They used to participate in both martial arts-based dances and acting- major lyrical events. With the loss of independence in Odisha at the end of the 16th century, this dance practice became weak. The sages also went astray. Recently there has been a wave of renaissance in Odisha dance due to the efforts of some gurus and artists. Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Guru Pankaj Das, Guru Muralidhar Majhi, Guru Giridhari Nayak, Kumkum Mahanti, Akishta Panigrahi, Indrani Rahman, Priyambada Mahanti, etc. are notable artists in the spread of Odissi dance. Apart from ‘Natyasastra’, ‘Abhinaya Darpan’, ‘Abhinaya Chandrika’ by Maheswara Mahapatra is followed in Odissi dance. The categories of this dance are Mangalacharana (Prayer), Batu, Pallavi, Abhinaya and Moksha.
A sambalpuri silk saree draped in front is worn. There are waistbands and silver ornaments on the hands, neck and ears. On the head, a long stick called tahiya is used on the stem of gantha flowers.
Odissi Dance and Bangladesh:
In 1985, ‘Sanjukta Panigrahi’ from India performed the Odissi dance for the first time in Bangladesh. Before 1989, there were no Odissi dance teachers in Bangladesh. In 1989, Sunny Mohapatra, a disciple of the famous Odissi Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, came to Bangladesh. Sunny Mohapatra started the first Odissi dance training in Bangladesh. Tamanna Rahman and Minu Haque from Bangladesh took training in Odissi dance for three years from him. In 1990, famous musicians from India visited Bangladesh. Dancers Tamanna Rahman and Meenu Haque with the support of these musicians organized an Odissi dance performance at the Bangladesh National Museum and the audience was enthralled by the dance performance. Sunny Mohapatra moved to India in 1992. After that, another disciple of Kelucharan Mahapatra, Ipsita Behura came to Bangladesh, besides Tamanna Rahman and Minu Haque, Sharmila Bandarjee, Sadia Islam Mou, Farhana Chowdhury Bebi and many others took Odissi dance training. Later, Tamanna Rahman and Sharmila Banerjee went to India for higher education and trained in Odissi dance. Chittagong girl Proma Abonti went to India for higher education. She was admitted to the Department of Dance at Rabindra Bharati University and returned to Bangladesh in 2000 after completing her graduation and post-graduation honours in Odissi Dance.
After returning home, she established a school named “Odissi and Tagore Dance Movement” in Chittagong. And exhibited Odissi dance in Bangladesh and outside the country. In 1996, Benazir Salam received the ICCR Scholarship and passed her graduation and post-graduation honours in Odissi dance from Rabindra Bharati University and returned to Bangladesh in 2001. The name of the institute he established is Nritya Chand. Originally in Bangladesh, these two established Odissi dancers worked tirelessly to spread ‘Odissi dance’ in Bangladesh. Because of them, many young Odissi dancers have been created in Bangladesh. Many of their students are studying Odissi dance in Rabindra Bharati University following in their footsteps. Many public and private institutions have contributed to the promotion of Odissi dance in Bangladesh.
- University of Dhaka
- Bangladesh Shishu Academy
- Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy
- Shanta-Mariam University of Creative Technology
- Bangladesh Fine Arts Academy
- Odissi and Tagore Dance Movement Centre
- Dance Rhythm
- Indian High Commission
Contribution of government agencies in the promotion of Odissi dance in Bangladesh:
Dhaka University: – Dhaka University is the first autonomous Government University of Bangladesh. It is known as a multi-faculty research university. It was established in 1921 in what was then “British India” following the Oxbridge system of education. It was recognized as the Oxford of the East in the context of rigorous quality control by various distinguished scholars and scientists at the outset. The Department of Dance under the Faculty of Arts in Dhaka University started its journey with 10 students in the academic year 2014-2015. At present, there are a total of 150 (approx.) students in undergraduate and postgraduate. There are 3 permanent lecturers, 2 part-time teachers, 1 Principal Demonstrator (Tabla), 1 Office Assistant and 2 Office Assistants. There are three main subjects in the dance department; this are Kathak, Bharatnatyam, and Manipuri. Besides, Odissi dance has been included as a special subject in post-graduation from December 2019.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh established the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in 1974 for the proper development and preservation of culture. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy started a classical dance training program in 2016 as part of their regular activities. At present, year-round training in Kathak, Manipuri, and Odissi dances is provided and diploma course certificates are awarded after quality verification through examinations.
Contribution of non-governmental organizations in the spread of Bangladesh Odissi dance
Dance Rhythm: – Smt. Benazir Salam’s contribution to the history of Odissi dance progress in Bangladesh is undeniable. Many Odissi dancers have been produced by the institution Nrityachanda founded by her. She has won many honors and reputations through their performance of Odissi dances in the country and abroad with merit. Her dance rhythm company was established in 2009.
Nrityanandan:- Bangladesh is another famous dance institution “Nrityanandan”. It was founded in 1990. The master of dance is Sharmila Banerjee. Sharmila Banerjee started imparting Odissi dance training in her institution. Later Benazir Salam engaged in dance as an Odissi dance instructor. Initially, Manipuri was separated in dance. Classes are held in Odissi, Bharatanatyam, Contemporary, etc. Later students are given good training in any subject as per their interest.
Pallavi Dance Centre: – The founder of Pallavi Dance Center is Mrs. Minu Haque, which was established in 1996. There are 5 stages of Odissi dance, one of them is Pallavi, accordingly the name of her dance center is Pallavi Dance Center. where she is employed as a dance instructor for herself and Benazir Salam.
Odissi and Tagore Dance Movement Centre: – Another renowned dance institute located in Chittagong, Bangladesh is the Odissi and Tagore Dance Movement Centre. The leader of the organization is Mrs. Proma Abonti. The institution is regarded as the most successful Odissi dance training centre in Bangladesh. With the sincere efforts of Mrs. Proma Abonti, the students of this institution have been being taught Odissi dance for many years.
Bangladesh Fine Arts Academy: – Bangladesh Final Arts Academy was established on July 1, 2009 by Mrs. Begum Rahiza Khanam Jhunu. Bangladesh Final Arts Academy has been providing Odissi dance training since its inception. Where Mrs. Benazir Salam is employed as an Odissi Dance Instructor. The students of this institution have gained much fame by performing Odissi dance in many places in the country and abroad.
Kalpataru: – Kalpataru started the journey with the efforts of Smt. Lubna Mariam. Various Indian classical dances such as Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri are imparted in this institution. In continuation of that, the Odissi dance education program started at Kalpataru in 2019. After a workshop by the legendary Guru Sharmila Biswas from India, the Odissi Yatra started at Kalpataru in August 2019.
Disciples of Guru Sharmila Biswas, as local teachers and trainees, conduct regular classes. One of her senior disciples and OVM teacher travels to Bangladesh for 2 days every month to teach new lessons. Guru Sharmila Biswas travels to Bangladesh every three months for a 2–4-day workshop where she tries to give an idea of the new courses learned for the next three months from the disciples under her guidance.
Indian High Commission and ICCR: – A year-long Odissi dance class has recently started at the Indian High Commission. Junior and senior in two batches. ICCR also organized workshops on Odissi dance online in 2020. Later, the trainees will be awarded certificates through the Odissi dance program.
Shanta Mariam University of Creative Technology: – Shanta-Mariam University of Creative Technology is a private university located in Uttara, Dhaka district, Bangladesh. The university was established in 2003. At present the university has six campuses out of which four are at Uttara, one at Lalmatia, and one at Ashulia. Shanta Mariam University Dance Department started in 2010 University dance department started with Kathakali, Bharatanatyam, Kathak, and Manipuri classical dances, and in 2016 Odissi dance was added to the syllabus. The university offers practical and written training in dance every 6-month semester.
Rabindra Bharati University’s contribution to the spread of Odissi dance in Bangladesh:
“Where the mind is free from fear, where the head is high, where knowledge is free, where the wall of the house is under its courtyard, the days of the day are not kept at rest, and the parts are small” Sri Rabindranath Tagore.
In 1961, on the occasion of the birth centenary of Rabindranath Tagore, the initiative was taken to establish this university named after the poet. The main campus of the University is situated at ‘Markat Kunje’ along the Barrackpore Trunk Road in Kashipur. Among the five universities, the city of Kolkata is the third in Indian existence. This university has the Department of Fine Arts and Visual Arts. The Faculty of Arts was added academically in 1976 with the last expansion of the University.
And 65A, a new campus at B.T. Road Kolkata – 700050 is accepted for this. Government organization Rabindra Bharati University continues to play a very important role in the promotion of Odissi dance like other classical dances. Many Bangladeshi students have studied dance at Rabindra Bharati University and many are still studying. Students of Rabindra Bharati University get practical knowledge as well as academic and theoretical knowledge. As a result, they have the opportunity to know Odissi dance in more detail which makes their future path stronger and brighter. In Kolkata in 1996 the first department of classical dance was B.A., M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. in Rabindra Bharati University. The names of Bangladeshi students who have studied Odissi dance at Rabindra Bharati University and are working for the promotion of Odissi dance in Bangladesh and who are currently studying Odissi dance in Rabindra Bharati University are listed below.
- Proma Abonti (1998-1999) M.A in Dance
- Benazir Salam Sumi (2000-2001) M.A in Dance.
- Farjana Yasmin – M.A in dance 2020, pursuing PhD in dance,
- Tajim Chakma – M.A in dance 2021
- Mrittika Dhar – M.A in dance 2021, pursuing PhD in dance
- Pooja Majumder-B. A. in Dance 2022
- Jamima Nasrin -B. A. in Dance 2022
Contribution of eminent dancers of India in Bangladesh
Bangladesh Many dance gurus have come from India at different times and conducted Odissi dance training and workshops to impart training to all the dance gurus in Bangladesh.
They are: –
• Sani Mahapatra (1989-1992)
• Ipsita Behura (1993-1996)
• Poushali Mukerjee (2000)
• Kavita Dwibedi (2002)
• Sutapa Talukdar (2016)
• Dr. Puspita Mukherjee (2017)
• Shashwati Garai Ghosh (2018, 2019)
• Sharmila Biswas (2019)
Contribution of Odissi Dance artists of Bangladesh:
Proma Abonti, a leading Odissi from Bangladesh, has been promoting and teaching the dance form across the country for 16 years. Her organizations Odissi and Tagore Dance Movement Centre have represented Bangladesh around the world. The institution celebrated its long innings with dance festivals in Dhaka and Chittagong. The second phase of the festival was recently concluded at Theatre Institute Chittagong.
I had the opportunity to talk to Proma where she shared a lot about herself, her organization, and the dance movement.
Q: How did you venture into the world of dance?
Proma Abonti:- My aunt initiated me into dancing. I was admitted to Alauddin Lalitkal Academy at the age of four. After that, I did my Higher Secondary from Kolkata then Honours and Masters from Rabindra Bharati University.
Q: Why did you choose Odissi?
Prama Abonti: – Eight Indian classical dance forms. When I saw a performance by the great Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, I decided at once that I would follow Odissi. Odissi is a dance form with a maximum sense of humour, sensation, and feeling.
Q: What was the philosophy behind the Odissi and Tagore Dance Movement Centre?
Proma Abonti :- What I wanted was to popularize the art form among the next generation, and promote one of the oldest dance forms so that the authentic practice continues uninterrupted. As a disciple of this art, it is a duty incumbent upon me.
Q: How pure can an art form be?
Proma Abonti:- No matter how far an artist moves, at the end of the day he comes back to his roots. This is the nature of art. The term ‘authentic’ used by classical artists is always misunderstood. By that word, we mean ‘real’.
Q: Did you encounter any obstacles in your journey?
Proma Abonti:- Lack of patrons. Less evolved art forms attract patrons because they assure easy returns. Artists could have done better if there were enough patrons in the neighborhood to find even a single organization to sponsor a classical arts program.
Q: What is your advice to young Odissi dancers?
Proma Abonti:- Practice, that’s what it takes. If you are determined, you will find a way forward. And of course, love what you do and respect it and don’t waste it in the name of exams.
After meeting Tamanna Rahman, another Odissi dance artist from Bangladesh, I got to know that Tamanna Rahman is a successful architect yet she has embraced dance wholeheartedly. Tamanna Rahman was born on March 11, 1965, in a noble family in Dhaka city. Tamanna Rahman graduated from the architecture department in 1992. Since 1980, Tamanna joined Chayanot as an associate teacher with Karthik Singh, Rahman’s dance teacher. In 1982, Shantibala Sinha joined Chhayant as a Manipuri dance teacher and Tamanna Rahman took Manipuri dance training from him. In 1985, the joint panigrahi from India performed the Odissi dance for the first time in Bangladesh. Before 1989, there were no teachers of Odissi dance in Bangladesh. In 1989, Sunny Mahapatra, a disciple of India’s famous Odissi dance guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, went to Bangladesh. Sunny Mohapatra first started teaching Odissi dance and Tamanna Rahman took Odissi dance training from her for three consecutive years. In 1990, a famous Indian musician came to visit Bangladesh. Dancers Tamanna Rahman and Minu Haque with the collaboration of these musicians, Bangladesh National Museum organized Odissi dance programs and dance performances enthralled the audience. Sunny Mohapatra moved to India in 1992. After that, when Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra’s other top Ispita Behura came to Bangladesh, Tamanna Rahman took Odissi dance lessons from her as well. In September 1993, Tamanna Rahman went to India to receive higher education in Manipuri dance. In 1994, Government of India’s ICCR scholarship, she was admitted to Rabindra Bharati. In 1997, she passed the first-division post-graduate examination and got first place in Manipuri dance.
Tamanna Rahman was awarded “Guru Maislam Amubi Singh” by Rabindra Bharati University in recognition of special achievements. Also took part-time Odissi dance training from India’s renowned Odissi dance artist Ustad Aloka Kanungo. Currently, Tamanna Rahman is working as a lecturer in the dance department of Dhaka University. Moreover, her own establishment Dance Creative Center continues to contribute greatly to the development of dance in Bangladesh.
Benazir Salam:– Benazir Salam is a famous dancer and teacher of Bangladesh. She was born on 17th January 1979. She started learning dance in 1983 in Rajah at a very young age. In 1990, she started learning dance from Mrs. Minu Haque in Dhaka. She came to know about Odissi dance from her and started learning Odissi dance. Later she took Kathak dance training from Shibli Mohammad and Saju Ahmed. In 1996, after receiving an ICCR scholarship, she was admitted to Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata in the Department of Odissi Dance. In 2001, she finished her education with honours by getting Gold Medal in Post-Graduation with First Class First. While in Kolkata, she took Odissi dance training from Smt. Paushali Mukherjee’s guru, Muralidhar Majhi. Also attended workshops with Satupa Talukdar and Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra and learned Odissi dance.
Minu Haque:- Ms. Minu Haque is a famous dancer in Bangladesh. She was born in 1953. In 1985, Minu Haque’s interest in Odissi dances first arose when Smt Sanjukta Panigrahi performed the Odissi dance in the first SAARC program in Bangladesh in 1987. After that, she was invited by the Indian High Commission to a program where she met and became friends with Smt. Sunny Mohapatra. Then she came to know that Smt Sani Mahapatra Padma was a disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. She has been training in Odissi dance for a long time and is performing. Minu Haque then offered her to teach Odissi dance. And Sunny Mohapatra agrees to Minu Haque’s proposal. From 1988 to 1992, Minu Haque learned Odissi with Sunny Mohapatra. Ipsita Behara came to Bangladesh after Sunny Mohapatra left Bangladesh. Minu Haque studied Odissi dance from her from 1993 to 1996. She named her Natya Center ‘Pallavi Dance Centre’. Where she used to teach Odissi dance. Currently, Benazir Salam is engaged as an Odissi dance teacher. Ms. Minu Haque has performed Odissi dance in various places in Bangladesh and outside Bangladesh and taught Odissi dance to children. She has also worked as a judge of Odissi dance in different parts of the country. Smt Minu Haque has been honored with many honors for the Odissi dance.
Sharmila Banerjee: – Sharmila Banerjee is a renowned dancer and dance teacher of Bangladesh. Sharmila Banerjee was born in 1964. Growing up in a cultural environment at home, her dance journey began at a very young age. She went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Manipuri dance in the 1978-79 session from Visa Bharati University. In 2000, after receiving a scholarship, she did another short-term course in Odissi dance with Mrs. Madhavi. While studying at Visva Bharati in 1990, she took Odissi dance lessons from Jiten Dar. Later, in Bangladesh, she took Odissi dance training from Sunny Mohapatra in 1992 and later from Ispita Behara. Her dance centre is called ‘Nrityanandan’. Where Odissi dance is taught. She has gained a lot of fame in Bangladesh and outside Bangladesh by performing Odisha dance solos. At her centre, she previously taught Odissi dance but currently Benazir Salam has been appointed as an Odissi dance teacher. Her creative dance choreography is heavily influenced by Odissi dance. According to her comments, although she is an established Manipuri dance artist, she always likes Odissi dance moves for torso and body movements. She has organized Odissi dance workshops two times from her organization ‘Nrityanandan’. Which are directed by the eminent Odissi dance artiste of Kolkata, Smt. Shaswati Garai Ghosh. Bangladesh Like other Indian classical dances Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Manipuri, Odissi dance will become a popular classical dance in Bangladesh as Sharmila Banerjee wanted.
Sharmila Banerjee has been contributing to various cultural activities for 33 years in the popular cultural institution Chayanat of Bangladesh. Since 1992, she has been working as the head of the dance department. A program of classical dance called ‘Ucchang Sandhya’ is organized at Chayanat. Odissi dance was exhibited for the first time at the initiative of Sharmila Banerjee. Sharmila Banerjee wishes to organize an Odissi dance workshop where dancers from all over Bangladesh will get a chance to participate.
Finally, it can be said that the classical dance Odissi has become very popular and modern in Bangladesh today. According to history, Odissi dance has been practiced in Odisha, India since the second century BC. The history of Odissi dance is indeed the history of Maharis. In Odisha, they are called Maharis. Later, from the time of Ramachandradeva, the Gatipua or male dance artist is identified. Recently there has been a wave of renaissance in Odissi dance due to the efforts of some gurus and artists. The contribution of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Guru Pankaj Charan Das, Guru Muralidhar Majhi, Guru Dev Prasad, etc. in the spread of Odissi dance has made Odissi dance rich. On the other hand, in Bangladesh, Mrs. Benazir Salam, Mrs. Proma Abonti and various government and private institutions have enriched Odissi dance. Government organization Dhaka University is playing an important role. Students have the opportunity to pursue degrees in classical dance at this university. As a result, Indian classical dance Odissi in Bangladesh is developing a series of stages very successfully. Since the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, as can be seen in the heart of Bangladesh, the Guru Shishya tradition of Odissi dance artists continues to flow. I hope our new generation will carry themselves forward with this tradition and expand Odissi dance further in the bosom of Bangladesh.