Nilakshi Barah Odissi Dance in Melbourne

Durga, the emblem of female power or Shakti appeared to us on September 30th and October 1st this year and it was celebrated by the Bengali Association of Victoria Inc. (BAV – www.bavwebsite.org) in Wellington Secondary Collage, 91 Police Road, Mulgrave, Vic 3170. As a part of the Durga Puja celebrations, it was given a grand closure with the celebration of Bijoya Sammelani on 8th October 2006 afternoon at Mulgrave Community Centre.

On Bijoya Sammelani on 8th October 2006 afternoon, as a part of the cultural programme, Mrs Nilakshi Barah performed Odissi form of Indian classical. She presented Mangalacharan on the backdrop of sloka “Ya Devi Sarbabhuteshu” – a prayer to Maa Durga. The entire Odissi dance recital was of ten minutes duration which was appreciated by all present for the occasion.

Nilakshi Barah started her dancing career at a very young age of 4 years. She is a National Talent award holder from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of India. She has undergone vigorous training of learning of Odissi dance for 10 long years, under the guidance of internationally famous Gurus – Guru Pandit Gangadhar Pradhan and Guru Kanduri Charan Behra of Bhubaneswar, Orrisa, India. She has obtained her Bachelor of Music – Odissi Dance degree from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, India.

Nilakshi Bora has many laurels in her cap like – “State Best Dancer” in many programmes in the state of Orissa, India. She has performed in many stage performances at Soochana Bhawan, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India, Rabindra Bhawan, Guwahati, Assam, India, Centenary Celebration of oil giant, Oil India Limited in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. Besides she has performed in regional Doordarshan Kendra’s of Cuttak, Orissa and Guwahati and Dibrugarh of Assam. She has performed in different stage programmes in Delhi, NOIDA and Indrapuram and the most current one in Melbourne, Australia.

Odissi, the most graceful and lyrical of all the forms of classical dances of India, was nurtured in the famous shrines of Orissa (a state in India) situated at Puri, Bhubaneswar and the famous Konark Sun Temple. A large number of dancing girls known as Maharis were attached to these famous shrines to perform the morning and evening dance rituals of the deities.

The quintessence of Odissi as a dance form in its sculpturesque quality. The characteristic features of Odissi are in its “Tribhanga” and “arcwise” designs of hand movements.

Odissi has been exposed to all Indian and international audiences. Its lyrical beauty and gracefulness has made it tremendously popular not only with student performer but also with connoisseurs and spectators all over the world, bestowing on it the distinction of a major form of classical dance of India.