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Odissi Dancer Bithika Mistry

 

Odissi is an ancient temple dance from the State of Odissa in Eastern India. Its great antiquity can be judged from sculptures in temples such as the famed sun temple of Konark, where it used to be performed as an offering to the deity. Odissi is based on the more than 1200 year old Sanskrit classic of sage Bharata on dance, drama and music - the Natya Shastra. The dance uses gestures, postures, movements, expressions and aesthetic concepts described in this book and its themes are always spiritual and mythological – derived from the rich world of Hindu mythology. 

In modern times Odissi dance has undergone a great development and refinement as a performing art due to the work of Gurus like Kelucharan Mahapatra to whose tradition Bithika Mistry belongs, having learnt from Guru Arundhoti Roy - one of his senior disciples. Bithika also had the privilege of learning under Guru Muralidhar Majhi another great teacher and choreographer of Odissi dance. 

Bithika Mistry started learning dance from early childhood, first learning folk dance and Rabindra dance which is done with the poetry and music of the poet Rabindranath Tagore. She later studied Odissi dance intensively and also completed a Masters in it from Rabindrabharati University. She also completed a Masters degree in Bengali Literature from Calcutta University. 

Bithika has performed in Vietnam in a tour organized by The Indian Council for Cultural Relations in 2010 and has performed and done a workshop at the National University of Singapore in 2011. She has performed in numerous venues and festivals in India like Shantipur classical conference and the Uday Shankar Festival, Kolkata in 2007, Parampara festival in Kolkata in 2010, Karur Nrityanjali Festival in Tamil Nadu 2011 and The U. P. Sangeet Natak Akademi Lucknow 2011.

She has taught dance since many years to students individually and in academic institutions and schools and some of her students have also given professional performances and won prizes in dance competitions. 

 

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