An Interview with Vidushi Sarita Mishra

1) When and how did this passion towards Dance start ? We would like to know more about your student days too.

Being born in to parents who were absolutely passionate about art and were beautiful artistes ,I think my passion for dance has always been in my blood. I knew I would be a dancer at a tender age of 2 or 3 and my formal training started when I was 4. Since then, there has never been a look back.

2) Tell us about the inception and growth of Adyasha.

Adyasha – (Aadya Aasha) - First hope. I founded this dance school in the year 2011 with a ray of hope to preach this beautiful art form “ODISSI” to the people of Bangalore and spread its aesthetics and glory to the nook and corner of the world.

3) Would you like to enlighten us about the systematic training given in Odissi?

Like other classical dance forms of India, Odissi is rigorous in nature which involves structured training starting with “ Chowkas,Tribhangi,Charis,Bhramaris as basics. Followed by advance lessons like Mangalacharan,Sthayee/Batu,Pallavi ,Abhinaya and Moksha.... In my school, I try to incorporate scientific ways of preparing our body to withstand the traditional training through body toning techniques from Kalaripyattu, Power yoga and a few strengthening exercises. This enables them to understand the Human anatomy and respect the physiology of oneself. I strongly believe in interspersing tradition and science to get the best of both and make dancers aware about their physical and mental fitness during their learning process.

4) The aspect of Abhinaya is seen distinctly in Guru Kelucharan ji’s school. What would be your take on significance of Abhinaya in dance (with special reference to Odissi).

Yes, Truly, Guru Kelucharan Mahopatra’s Gharaaana does emphasizes on the aspect of Abhinaya. But,When watched closely, that style is an amalgamation of equal proportions of pure dance, Masculinity and Femininity of characters and precise foot work.

I was initiated to Guru Debaprasad Das style and have been practicing Khelucharan Gharana for 15 yrs now. In both these styles, Abhinaya and Nritta have taken their own place in defining the aesthetics and beauty of the art form. Odissi is an art form which enables expression through the whole body which includes face. Hence, I believe that in Odissi, there is a beautiful confluence of Power,Lasya Nritta and Abhinaya in an absolute balance.

5) Could you please share a few thoughts about your association Guru. B. Bhanumati and Guru Sheela Chandrasekhar?

My association with Guru B. Bhanumati and Guru Sheela Chandrasekhar has been wonderful and inspiring. I fall short of words to actually express. I treat Bhanu mam as my Guru in many ways though I’m not actually into Bharatanatyam. Her charm brings in a wave of positivity in me whenever we meet. Her humility and simplicity with that kind of immense knowledge in art makes all artistes like me to seek purity and spirituality in art.

Speaking about Sheela akka, she is so far away from mundane negativities of people and artistes and pours love to every one she meets.

In short, I’m blessed to be associated with them.

6) What were your challenges in reaching Odissi to Bangalore audience? Also What were the things which facilitated you to grow as an artiste in a place like Bangalore.

I’ve never felt reaching my art and myself challenging in Bangalore. As a performer, initially I had to introduce myself to some people to get a start, But, I have always felt that the art fraternity in Bangalore has been very welcoming, accepting and warm to me as a person and as an artiste.

7) Would you want to share your experiences about your productions and choreographies? What has been your inspiration behind your work.

Well, I would consider myself as a young artiste and a choreographer in the making. I have been doing some amount of work through my students and making my best efforts to execute my learning through my students with quality. I pay attention to detailing when I direct a show and present and so far I’m happy that our efforts have been received with lot of love by the Rasikas. With respect to some work with depth and soul searching, it is in progress and hopefully staged the coming year.

Talking about inspiration, my seniors like Guru Aruna Mohanthy,Guru Sujatha mahopatra,Guru Meera Das have inspired me to a great extent through their work. Their commitment to art motivates me to me to be better artiste. Especially, When I see Sujatha pa dancing on stage, I get transcended to a different world and her energy inspires me during my practice and performance. Hence, I would consider her as my role model and try to execel and attain perfection like her.

I would definitely consider the fire in me to define a purpose of life as my inspiration too. Also, the identity as a dancer brings in a lot of inspiration and happiness in me to do some good work.

8) I notice that you have been constantly into teaching along with performing. Which one would you prefer as your priority to complete you as an artiste?

I would vote teacher in me to take the front seat over a performer as teaching can be independent of my physical readiness unlike performing and more importantly, I feel there is an utmost need for teachers who are sincere to art and teach with supreme level of commitment, compassion and love.

Teaching has been my first love and I have been receiving lot of love and success wherever I go. Hence, I strongly feel I would do justice to the word “Teacher” in the best way.

9) Your message to students of art.

Dance goes beyond mere experimentation. It’s exploration attains completeness when treated with sanctity and being aware of it’s aesthetics.

No doubt, Success plays a vital role in feeling accomplished, But, dedication and excellence brings Success to one’s feet even before we realize.

With sincerity and hard work, this art form is powerful to enlighten an individual and make one’s life more beautiful.

Let’s all celebrate life through dance by choosing to see it’s divinity and make this world a better place to live.

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