Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dr. Citaristi’s Odissi Affair with Symbiosis

“It was a magical experience. The grace and poise with which she moved was indeed breathtaking.”

This was all an audience member, overwhelmed with emotion, managed to say when she came out of the Symbiosis Auditorium, where Padmashree Dr. Ileana Citaristi had come to perform.
Thanks to Spic Makay and ICCR many students of Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication got the opportunity of seeing a live Odissi dance performance for the first time in their lives and what they saw left them mesmerized.
After a grand two hour performance, on her way back to the guesthouse, she talked of how her passion for Odissi dance began. She also mentioned the challenges she faced from the constant changes in mindset of the upcoming generations.
Having done a Doctorate in Eastern Philosophy and a thespian, it was during those days that she came across the various dance forms of Kathakali and Odissi. She planned to learn these dance styles for a year or so and go back to theater but meeting her guru Kelucharan Mohapatra completely changed her life.
She recalls that even while she was getting trained, her guru made her give dance lessons to other students and that’s how her dancing skills improved by leaps and bounds. And thus it was only natural that she become of a teacher of the art.
She stressed on the fact that she always had to come up with something new, expand her horizons to keep the interest alive.
With time, she said, it was becoming imperative to become innovative and invent newer compositions. “To move forward one always has to innovate but at the same time the basics have to be kept in mind, else everything will fail.” says Dr. Citaristi, who has also trained under Guru Shri Hari Nayak apart from Guru Padma Vibhushan Kelucharan Mohapatra.
It is commonly known that artists get concepts related to their respective arts going about the daily routine of their lives- while they take a walk or shower or are gardening anything, and this compels me to ask Dr Citaristi the same question. She says that for her it’s just that she thinks of all the abstract
things and then tries to form a composition out of it.
“For example, time is something very abstract. Once I have made up my mind that I want to create a dance composition on that topic, I start referring to the Veda’s, talk about it to people and read from many sources before creating a script and then giving it music.”
I am intrigued to ask her about the reactions she receives from audiences back home in Italy, after her performances. “In Italy, she says, I often perform for audiences who have absolutely no idea what I am doing. Though it has improved in the last 20 years or so, I try to familiarize the audience with the subject and then perform.”- This was something evident in today’s performance at Symbiosis as well.
Many of the students, because of the huge generation gap, are unaware of such a form of art and thus the introduction is given.
Talking about her performance at Symbiosis today, she said that she was happy with the response she got.
“It always feels nice when something you do is appreciated.”

"An interview I took of Mrs. Citaristi who had performed a breathtaking dance in Symbiosis a few months back!!"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dreaming about Reality Checks...!!

There is but one place where I can escape and no one can reach me…one place where I am who I want to be, can do what I wish to and live the way I want to- this place, this sacred haven is known as my dream!!!
But then everything can’t be rosy and goody goody.
Dreams maybe your escape from reality but however much you wish it isn’t reality.
It’s all like one big cruel joke played on you. Every night you sleep and see visions of the things that you crave for, excite you and you want but then dawn arrives and ruins it all. That which had been so clear and appealing just the night before seems hazy and blurred as the rays of the sun hit your face (be it the morning or afternoon depends on you!). You wake up half snoozy and the dream plays in your head however indistinct it maybe….
In your head you continue to believe what is happening, but then slowly the truth dawns on you as you see the confines of your room appearing and merging in with your dream and realization hits home that this was God’s way of playing a joke and somewhere he was rolling on the floor laughing seeing your state of complete disillusionment.
I had a similar joke played on me. I have this amazing fascination of assassins/private detectives, be it James Bond, The Transporter, Jason Bourne or even Jacques Clouseau. I just love everything about them- their suave demeanor; the apparent ease with which they impress their femme fatale (couldn’t find a better word!!), their whole chic appearance and the cool things that they get to do…blah blah blah…
Anyway the point is, I was (have been) dreaming of being all those characters (one night per character of course) and every time I arrive at the crux of the mission or even close to the fact that I just might bowl over one of the femme fatales with my awesome personality…reality strikes! I wake up!!
And that’s the end of that…
What am I to do?
Love dreaming or hate it?


Aaj hai jashn kisike jaane ka
Aaj hai mauka har aasoon pee jaane ka
Aaj hi hai mauka hasne hasane ka...!!
Mile mukti har bandhan se
Har baar ki tarah aaj na kaha jaye ki kaam karenge kal se!!!

Yeh gulaal rang ka alag hi tashan hai
Hamare mann ki hi baatein chupaye hum se!!

I am Your's...


I point skywards...
In wonder
In awe
Just because I want to point somewhere too
In surrender..
I surrender myself to you.
I am yours!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Sky has stories to tell....

I look over you
And you dont know it
I look for you
And you ignore it...

I am always there
Do you believe it?

I care.
How do I show it?

I am etched in the sky...
It is hard to get to you
But you can reach me
By remembering me

If you want to.