Surupa Sen(Artistic Director, choreographer, soloist)
was the first student at Nrityagram, where she began her Odissi training with the late body language genius and architect of Odissi, Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. She also studied with Protima Gauri, founder of Nrityagram, and Abhinaya with Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan.
As a child she studied Bharatanatyam, to which she attributes her pre-occupation with form and line. Attracted to choreography from her first exposure to western makers of dance, she participated in the International Choreographer’s Residency at the American Dance Festival in 2000, thanks to a grant from the Asian Cultural Council.
Surupa has performed in solo recital and ensemble all over India, North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Far-East.
Her first evening length work Sri: In Search of the Goddess (2000), consisted of both a non-traditional suite (Night, Fire, & Dialogue with Death) & a re-working of traditional dance (Srimati, Srimayi, & Sridevi).
Her next production Ansh (2004) was a re-working of a typical Odissi recital, which toured extensively including a run at the Joyce Theater, New York in 2005.
Sacred Space (2006), a show based on Temple Architecture and its relationship to dance, used an expanded traditional Odissi vocabulary. For Sacred Space, Surupa received the award for best choreography from the Music Academy, Chennai.
Pratima: Reflection is an evening-length work that explores the relationship between the dancer and her dance as she seeks to find an image of herself through the essential truths – of Creation, Contemplation, Separation and the Duality of the human spirit.
She received the Raza Foundation Award for Excellence in Dance in 2007. And the Yagnaraman Award for Excellence in Dance, from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai in 2008.
Surupa is Artistic Director and choreographer at Nrityagram.
Bijayini Satpathy (Director of Odissi gurukul, soloist)
joined the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneshwar at the age of 7, where she trained for 13 years under the tutelage of Guru Kanduri Charan Behera, Guru Pagal Swain, Bichitrananda Swain & Aruna Mohanty.
An insatiable thirst for knowledge led her to Nrityagram in 1993 where she flourished under the guidance of Protima Gauri, and through her collaboration with Surupa Sen.
At Nrityagram she gained from the intense concentration on dance that it promotes, as well as from interaction with other practitioners of performing arts, to which she attributes her own artistic growth.
Bijayini has performed alone, and with the ensemble, all over the world and has received national and international recognition including the 2003 Mahari Award given to the best Odissi dancer of the year and the Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2007 given by the Sangeet Natak Akademi to the best in performing arts in India.
As Director of the Odissi Gurukul, Bijayini works on creating new techniques for Odissi dance training, and extending the vocabulary of the traditional form.
Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi(Composer)
Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi is one of the foremost singers of Orissa. With his wife, the legendary dancer Sanjukta Panigrahi, and her guru the late Kelucharan Mahapatra, he has developed compositions that are the mainstay of Odissi dance. Surupa Sen says that, “His understanding of Sanskrit and music is so profound, that the very way in which he puts words to melody leads me to the movements I choreograph”
Pavitra Reddy (Dancer)
Pavitra Reddy came as part of the outreach programme in 1990, from a village near Nrityagram. She has learned Odissi under the tutelage of Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy and been a part of the ensemble since 1993. She had her solo debut in 2003 & now teaches dance in our village and city outreach programme.
Rasmi Raj studied at Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneshwar for 5 years before she came to Nrityagram for advanced training. Here, she has learned with Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy. Rasmi has been with Nrityagram for six years and is the youngest dancer in the ensemble.
Manasi Tripathyis from Srujan dance academy in Bhubaneshwar, where she trained for 11 years before coming to Nrityagram. Now she trains under Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy. She is the newest dancer in the ensemble.
Lynn Fernandez (Lighting Director, Executive Director Nrityagram)
Lynn Fernandez has been with Nrityagram since 1993. Among the first practicing light professionals in India, she has worked as actress and light designer with leading directors like Barry John, Joy Michael, Ranjit Kapoor, and Lillete Dubey. Her work in theater has also been featured internationally – at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, the Westend (London) and off-Broadway, New York.
Of her work with the ensemble, Surupa Sen says “she understands dance intuitively and is able to create the visual space that enhances our work. Her contribution is the luminosity, the look that has become characteristic of the ensemble”.
As Executive Director of Nrityagram, Lynne is responsible for administration, fund raising, project development, amongst other things. Her recent projects include building a dance facility with a studio, auditorium, exhibition space and physiotherapy unit. She has also overseen the emergence of the ensemble onto the international arena.
The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble
Assisted by Srinibas Satapathy
Ghulam Rasool Tailor
Pentacle/Dance Works Inc.
212-278-8111 extn 313