Amitava Sarkar

Amitava Sarkar has lived in Austin since 1981. His background is in Electrical Engineering and Software Architecture. In the last decade, he has given more attention to things he enjoys in his personal life i.e. art , the performing arts, the sitar, and healing body work. These passions now support him materially and otherwise.

His forte in photography is Movement, Photojournalism/Documentation, Performing Arts, and other Commercial Subjects. (His galleries can be viewed at Smugmug site where clients can review contact sheets, order prints/merchandise, and download high resolution digital photos.)

The public galleries show the extent of his skills, and are an extended portfolio. New galleries are added and retired few times every month, so please visit regularly!
Amitava's Blog

From his blog profile.....

Experiencing and photographing the performing arts is one of my favorite ways to spend time. The performing arts have the ability (and usually do) reflects all aspects of humanity, in both the world of reality and fantasy. It epitomizes human creativity and passion. Capturing the right moment is not only a matter of having control over technical aspects of photography, but also an insight into the mood of the moment and the performance overall. I have been enriched by my association with the performing arts on several levels. I hope a few of the photos inspire you in some manner.

Prachi Dalal

Photos by Jim Strickland

Prachi Dalal is a dancer, artist and museum educator. A talented dancer trained in Kathak, a classical dance form from north India, she recently performed as part of ArtsAhimsa at the Summit of Iraqi and American Women organized by the Global Peace Initiative for women. She has performed in India, Washington D.C. and New York. She performed at the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution, the Folklife festival and at the annual festivals of the Indian Dance Educators Association based in the
DC area. She was also the first dancer to perform at the Diwali celebrations at the White House in Washington D.C. She taught Kathak at the Durga Temple in Fairfax, VA for three years. After moving to New York she has performed at the Queens Museum of Art and given a workshop at the Rubin Museum of Art.Born in Bombay (India), she grew up learning dance, studied miniature painting from artists in Rajasthan, and completed her Bachelor in Commerce from University of Bombay. Growing up, she began to observe that many threads of a rich cultural fabric were gradually being lost with every passing generation. This kindled in her a keen desire to preserve artistic and cultural heritage by reaching out to people and nurturing in them sensitivity for the traditional arts by enabling them to make connections with these resources, and providing communities a more meaningful interaction with artistic and cultural traditions.

To achieve these goals, she joined a graduate program in Ancient Indian Culture at University of Bombay. In fall 2000, she arrived in Washington D.C. to pursue a Masters in Tourism Administration with a concentration in Destination Management and a focus on Cultural-Heritage Tourism at the George Washington University. Her goal through tourism is to enable tourists/visitors to interact with cultural heritage resources and help them cross boundaries, not only geographical but also cultural, kindle curiosity and a sense of exploration, help make connections to past and present, broaden perspectives and nurture human sensitivity.
During her work as a Museum Educator and Community Outreach Educator at the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution, she has been involved in a wide range of areas within the education department such as- community outreach programs, school programs, teacher workshops, docent training, and organizing performances and public programs. She also worked with the Smithsonian Center of Folklife as a cultural liason for a delegation of Indian artists for the 2002 Folklife Festival called "Silk Road: Connecting Cultures, Creating Trust."
As a teaching artist for the Freer and Sackler's multi-visit program, she has conducted dance workshops in inner-city DC Public. She has conducted dance workshops at the Freer and Sackler galleries for special groups. She presented Kathak at Asia-Pacific Heritage family festival at the museum called 'Dancing across Cultures' (May 2-3, 2003). She coordinated a performance called "Dances of Celebration: Folk traditions from India," on the Freer steps as part of 'Art Night on the Mall', which showcased four folk dances from four different regions in India involving about 30 dancers and musicians from the local DC area.
She started learning dance at the age of seven. As a disciple of Guru M
adhurita Sarang, she bloomed under her careful guidance as a mature dancer. She has taken Kathak workshops with maestros such as Pt. Birju Mahara and Smt. Kumudini Lakhia. As part of the dance troupe at Nritya Darshan, she performed in several productions all over India including at the All-India Festival of Kathak in New Delhi, the Kathak festival in Lucknow, and at venues such as Nehru Center, Bombay. Currently she is also a part of the troupe of Sarang Academy of Performing Arts based in New Jersey.


Thank you!!!

Your donation will be forwarded to Asako Takami.

Please accept my deepest gratitude and appreciation on behalf of the Odissi Community.

Srinwanti Chakrabarti

Even in her childhood the Srinwanti Chakrabarti had a penchant for dancing and she was inducted into the Odissi dance form at the tender age of five. Srinwanti has been pursuing the Gharana of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra for last 18 years. Srinwanti finds life in the rhythm of Odissi and she has dedicated herself to the arduous practice of this classical genre. The prodigy has acquired a high level of expertise in her teens.

She has been initially guided and groomed by Smt. Sutapa Talukdar and Smt. Nandini Ghosal. The intrinsic talents of Srinwanti flourished under the tutelage of legendary figure Late Padmavibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra that helped her immensely in learning the intricacies of the dance form. Rhythm of her dance becomes vibration of her life and it has become possible for her dedication and determination. Srinwanti is the artistic director of the institute SRIJATI – A CENTRE FOR ARTS AND CULTURE. Srinwanti has proved herself to be an efficient dance teacher in conducting workshops in England, at Sangeet Bhawan, Visvabharati University, Shantiniketan etc. and taking classes in Kolkata. She has proved her excellence in her choreographic compositions too, which has been highly appreciated. Presently she is pursuing Dance Therapy to extend dance for therapeutic services. She has also shown her mettle in research work in the paper which she has written called “Hindu Temple Women (Devdasi) The Divine Prostitution”.
Her devotion to Odissi is evident in the number of prestigious performances she has given inside the country, to name a few in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal. Crossing the national boundaries, Srinwanti proved her excellence in international level too, she has given a series of performances in United States of America and Canada, where she has been highly appreciated in 2005. She has conducted several dance workshops and lecture demonstrations throughout United Kingdom in 2006. Srinwanti has also given many dance recitals at London, Basingstoke, Southampton, Winchester, Bracknell, Eastbourne, Fareham, Andover, Fleet, Alton, Chichester, Peter’s Field, Walton on Thames etc. in England 2006.She also worked for few months in England 2007 presenting new choreographic compositions and productions in Choreographer’s conference, giving performances and conducting workshops .

Srinwanti Chakrabarti can be reached at or through her website:

Reela Hota

A dedicated Odissi dancer, Reela Hota started her training in Indian classical dance at the age of eight, from Guru Gangadhar Pradhan,who remarked 'her dance as revealed in her body movement, footwork and abhinaya,will make her a dancer of repute'.
She then received training in Odissi dance under Srimati Madhavi Mudgal,who applauded Reela for her "remarkable presence on stage" In 1994, she presented her debut recital under the aegis of Sahitya Kala Parishad. Celebrated critics remarked: "Reela has the assurance coming out of excellent dance technique" "Reela's movements have a sensuous grace …one must commend the dancer for her rhythmic grasp"- Leela Venkataraman, The Hindu, National Daily. "….with her flawless Nritta,precisely profiled tribhang and Chauka,she was a delight to watch " "Reela showed her class in finely etched bramharis, precise hastas and sensitive mukhabhinaya"- Shanta Sarabjeet Singh, Dance Critic. She went on to train under the guidance of the late Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, who instilled in her the desire for perfection. She has ,since then, performed in festivals namely Yuva Mahotsava, Lucknow Mahotsava, DIU Festival, Sangeet Nrityotsav, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival, Ganga Mahotsav, Taj Mahotsava, World Philosophy Congress, Baishakhi Festival, NavSamvatsar, Lakshman Mela, H.C.L concert series; danced in various conferences for Indian Postal Department, Department of Finance, Ministry of Petroleum, World Philosophy Congress, Health Ministry, Netaji Centenary Celebrations Orissa Day, Tourism Day; received critical acclaim in Bharat Bhawan, India International Centre, Goa Kala Kendra; toured Europe, Bangladesh, Oman and worked as the lead actor in a tele-film on Odissi Dance. In 2006, Reela toured Oman, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, and has performed at the prestigious 'Harare International Arts Festival”
Reela regards her dance as a spiritual practice -a means towards inner purification

For more about Reela Hota, please visit her at her website
or contact her at or

Reela Hota Images & Text credits: Art India Net

Dr. Frederique Apffel Marglin

Frederique Apffel-Marglin

Frédérique Apffel-Marglin received her B.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University , the latter awarded in 1980. She has lived in India since the mid 1960's. She was first a student of Indian Classical Dance (Orissi style) and later did her first field research among the temple dancers of Jagannath Temple in Orissa in the mid 1970's. Her later field research was among agricultural communities in coastal Orissa. Since 1994 she had engaged in collaborative work with non-governmental organizations in Peru and Bolivia . She taught in graduate courses that those organizations offered from 1994 until 2005. She was the coordinator of Centers for Mutual Learning in Peru and Bolivia during that period. This project was funded by a MacArthur grant until 1999. With the Peruvian NGO PRATEC, she had created a research and community center in the Peruvian High Amazon where she directed a program in Bio-cultural Diversity for US undergraduates from 2001 until 2004.

She was a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) in Helsinki , an affiliate of the United Nations University, from 1985 until 1991. As part of that endeavor, she and Stephen A. Marglin formed an interdisciplinary and international collaborative team that has produced three books on critical approaches to development and globalization.

She currently directs a January Term course in the Peruvian High Amazon, titled “Fair Trade and Bio-Cultural Regeneration in the High Amazon”. This course is administered by the non profit organization Living Routes. For more information, click here: Peru: Fair Trade & Bio-cultural Regeneration in the High Amazon

She is the author of three books, the editor or co-editor of an additional six books and the author of some forty five articles and book chapters. Her interests cover ritual, gender, political ecology, critiques of development, science studies and Fair Trade. Her areas of specialization are South Asia and the Andes . She is currently finishing a book based on her collaboration with several Peruvian organizations as well as her current work with a Fair Trade Organic Coffee Cooperative in the Peruvian High Amazon and is the author of, Wives of the God King (1985), an excellent text on the Mahari tradition.

Dr. Frederique Apffel Marglin can be reached at

Puspita Mishra

Puspita Mishra, a fair spritely damsel is odisha’s pride in the indigenous odissi dance which has now assumed international status. Her devotion to this complex form of dance and choreographic intricacies is something spectacular and ingenuous. Being widely acclaimed in the State and outside, Puspita emerges as a rare artist who blends rhythmic grace and symphony in her dance that keeps the audience in thrall. The spectator is led to believe that Puspita in her dance is veritably an animated sculpture on the walls of Konark temple that set the rhythm, melody and tenderness in one composite tune. Her intricate foot work, her graceful karanas and charis, her hand gestures and mudras, besides the expression of her eyes simply usher the viewer into a world of beauty in gay abandon. Born in 1971 in the historic temple city of Bhubaneswar, the state capital of Orissa, Puspita Post Graduated in Sociology and earned to her credit the Sangeet Visharad in Odissi Dance Conducted by Prachin Kala Kendra under Chandigarh University. As a grade “A” artist of the Delhi Doordarshan and a recipient of research scholarship from the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Gov’t of india. Puspita is busy in exploring subtle innovation in Odissi dance. She has Mastered Odissi dance from the age of 3 years since 1974. Puspita is the worthy daughter of Sri. Nilakantha Mishra and Sushama Mishra, married to Mr. Anshuman Mishra, a social worker. She happens to be the daughter in law of Prof. Rajkishore Mishra and Renuka Mishra. She has been blessed with amazing twins a boy and a girl, Adarsh and Adyasha.
For more about Puspita Mishra, please visit her at her website

or contact her at

Ananda Chanda

Ananda Chanda is a New York sitar musician who is interested in indian music and dance.

He can be reached at

Sreyashi Dey

Sreyashi Dey is an exponent of the Odissi style of Indian classical dance and a disciple of Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, Founder-Director of the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneswar. She was initiated into Odissi by renowned Guru Mayadhar Raut in New Delhi, India. In addition, Sreyashi also trained extensively in Bharata Natyam under Gurus Saroja Vaidyanathan in the Pandanallur style and Lalita Shastri in the Kalakshetra style. Her extensive training has spanned over two decades and has provided the foundation for her distinguished performing career. She has performed in several prestigious dance festivals and events all over India organized by premier institutions such as Sahitya Kala Parishad, Sangeet Natak Akademi, India International Center, India Habitat Center and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. She has also appeared on Indian TV several times.

Sreyashi moved to the US to pursue graduate studies in Economics. After earning her Master's degree in Economics, she also earned an MBA. She has had a successful business career in market research consulting.

Sreyashi has lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania since 1995 and is the Founder, President and Artistic Director of Srishti Dance of India, a dance company specializing in the performance and preservation of the Odissi style of Indian classical dance. Her successful business career has helped her to establish Srishti as a professionally run organization with sound management practices.

Through Srishti and as a soloist, Sreyashi is constantly expanding her creative horizons with new choreographies and collaborations with artists across genres. While remaining rooted in the classical dance techniques, Sreyashi continuously creates innovative new works that push the boundaries of performing arts. Some of her cross-cultural collaborations have included:

Our World, One People, Many Faces with the Mary Miller Dance Company and UMOJA African Arts Ensemble

Ramayana: A Dance Drama in Two Traditions of India and Indonesia collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Indonesian Gamelan Ensemble

Ancient Rhythms A Tapestry of Indian Classical Dance Yoga and Storytelling collaboration with Alison Babusci

And What is My Life to You? collaboration with poet Andrea Read and Ugandan dancer and drummer Sylvia Tamusuza

She has choreographed for the theatre (such as Girish Karnad's Hayavadana), and has presented workshops, master classes, multi-media presentations and lecture-demonstrations on Indian classical dance.

As the Artistic Director of Srishti, Sreyashi has directed, choreographed and performed as the lead dancer in several critically acclaimed and highly successful major dance drama productions in Pittsburgh, such as Ramayana and Rabindranath Tagore's Chitrangada. In addition, she tours in several cities in the US every year for solo Odissi performances as well as with Srishti productions with well-known artists from India and the US. Srishti has received several major grants and awards under Sreyashi's leadership. In 2002, she choreographed and performed Karna and Kunti a new work using Odissi and Kathakali styles of dance. This was premiered at the INTERFACE festival in Calcutta,India and subsequently performed in the US to enthusiastic responses. She recently choreographed and performed a contemporary piece titled Yaatra: Journey.

Sreyashi has continued to grow as an artist by keeping up her training in Indian classical dance through frequent visits toIndia. She works with master teachers to further hone her skills, learn new choreography and refresh her creative instincts.

Through numerous performances, as well as thorough lecture demonstrations, workshops and collaborations with other artists, Sreyashi has created widespread awareness of Indian performing arts traditions. She receives much accolade from her audiences and critics alike. She is an Adjunct Faculty at the Music Department at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh where she teaches Indian classical dance from a Cultural Perspective.

Sreyashi uses her art for social causes such as raising funds for natural disasters and education/development projects inIndia and other causes. She works tirelessly toward the preservation of this ancient art form by training a new generation of Indian-American dancers at her school. Sreyashi has continued to grow as an artist and has dedicated herself to the propagation and promotion of Indian performing arts in the US.

To learn more about Sreyashi Dey and Srishti Dance of India visit her website

Sreyashi Dey can be reached at

Masako Ono

After learning modern dance and hip-hop in Tokyo, Masako Ono took up Odissi at the Indian dance institution Nrityagram in 1996. Along with Odissi, she learned Yoga and Pilates. She also attended workshops of Flamenco, Contemporary Dance, African Dance, Chhau, and Kalaripayattu.For her dedication and hard work, Masako won a scholarship from Nrityagram, and in 1998, became a residential student. After completing basic training, Masako left Nrityagram and for intensive training in Orissa under the legendary Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Guru Ramani Ranjan Jena, Guru Bichitrananda Swain, and Guru Naba Kishore Mishra.

Since 2001 Masako is based at Bhubaneswar as a professional Odissi dancer and Yoga teacher. She has been collaborating with different dancers, musicians and art makers from India and abroad. These collaborations refined her choreographic skills and deepened her understanding of the tantric approach to Odissi dance. She is now working on her own choreography pieces that are a blend of tantra, yoga and classical Indian dance.

Masako gives performances as a soloist, contemporary dance and Odissi dance. She also conducts workshops and gives lecture demonstrations in India and abroad.
interview with the FINANCIAL EXPRESS

review in the INDIA REVIEW(page 2 & 3)

review in the INDIA TRIBUNE

interview with the WASHINGTON POST

flyer by JICC

review in the HINDU

interview with HINDUISM TODAY

review in THE HINDU

review in NARTHAKI


interview with THE TRIBUNE

review in NARTHAKI

speech at THE UNIVERSE, Indo-Japan Friendship & Cultural Relations

interview with THE HINDU

Masako Ono can be reached at

Sitara Thobani

Sitara Thobani first began dancing at the age of 8 under the direction of Lata Pada in the Bharatnatyam tradition। She began her studies in the Odissi tradition under the esteemed Dr। Ratna Roy in 1997. Since then, Sitara has undertaken intensive training in India at the Nrityagram dance school as well as in the heart of the Odissi style in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. Sitara has performed at many cultural and art events in Canada and the United States, including the International Odissi Conference in Washington D.C. in August, 2003.

She has also performed at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar-es-Salaam, the Zanzibar International Film Festival in Tanzania, as well as in Calcutta and Delhi। A recipient of a Canada Arts Council Grant for Emerging Dance Professionals, Sitara spent a month in Orissa studying both dance and Odissi percussion. In August 2005, Sitara completed her solo debut Rangapravesh performance in Vancouver. She is also a recent recipient of the Indo-Canadian Shastri Institute scholarship for further dance training in India, which she will commence later this year.

Sitara specializes in the mahari or women’s tradition of Odissi। She has been an ambassador of the dance performing in London, India and the US. Her style is intricate, energetic, statuesque and emotional.

She can be contacted at

Beatriz Ocougne

Beatriz Ocougne is an advanced Brazilian Odissi dancer, teacher and movement therapist who learned from Madhavi Mudgal. She has operated her own private Odissi Institute for over 20 years in São Paulo

Bia is a dancer, actress, psychologist and body therapist. Her dance training spans Western Classical and Modern dance forms as well as Balinese and Odissi. She is a graduate of psychology from Sao Paolo, Brazil, has trained in Japanese inspired Butoh dance and performance techniques. In order to create Integrated movements, Bia has gone through a long professional journey. This started initially with corrective exercises and modern dance till she "discovered" oriental dances.
She attended workshops with Dr. Ehrenfried in Paris, learnt Balinese dance and theatre with the, I Made Djamat Company and performed with the Balinese American Dance Theater in New York.
She has studied Butoh, performed Flamenco, studied danse du ventre with Jamila Saliempour, and has been studying Odissi under Madhavi Mudgal and her students Bindu Juneja and Moumita Ghosh since 1995

For more information regarding Ms. Ocougne's dance and institute, please visit her website
Beatriz Ocougne can be reached at

Chinmayee Dwaraknath

Chinmayee Dwaraknath is an Odissi dancer based in Coimbatore. She has learned Odissi for the past 9 years and is now also teaching. She belongs to the Deba Prasad Gharana, having learned from Shrimathi Geetha Shankaran who learnt from Ramli Ibrahim. She is currently the Odissi Principal of the Temple of Fine Arts International, an Arts organization which has centres in India (Madras and Coimbatore), Malaysia (Johor Bahru, Malacca and Kuala Lumpur), Singapore and Australia (Perth).

Her love for odissi was nurtured by her spiritual guru, Swami Shantanand Saraswathi, founder of the temple of fine arts international and feels that Odissi brings her much joy as it reflects life...
"The strength of the chowkha has to be balanced by the grace of tribangi...and in life too we we need to be both strong and yet soft too.don't know if i am making sense to anyone!.the first time that i saw odissi i knew that this art form matched my personality completely."

Chinmayee Dwaraknath also loves Orissan textiles and saris and is interested in learning more about Orissan food! She is very happy to have discovered the Odissi Discussion Group.

Chinmayee Dwaraknath can be reached at

Deepa Anand

A graduate of the Temple of Fine Arts International, Deepa Anand started learning Odissi in the year 1999 from Geetha Shankaran Lam, one of the first few graduates of Ramli Ibrahim and the Principal Odissi instructor at the Temple of Fine Arts International, Malaysia. Since then she has developed an ardent love for this art form. She also had the privilege of training under Sujata Mohapatra in August 2006. Deepa has taken part in the major productions of The Temple of Fine Arts like Ramayana, Odissi Odyssey, A Midsummer Nights Dream, etc. She has given performances in India, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Malaysia. S he was honoured with the title of Nrityanjali by the Temple of Fine Arts in the year 1996.

Deepa resides in the United Kingdom and can be reached at

Mrinalini Padhi

Mrinalini Padhi is a lawyer, dancer & drama therapist for the disabled who created an award-winning documentary on Gotipuas of Raghurajpur. Mrinalini was a student Guru Surendranath Jena at Triveni Sangam for a very brief period more than 2 decades back who later on learned from Guru Mayadhar Rout and Guru Kelu Charan Mahapatra.

Mrinalini Padhi can be reached at

Chitra Shankar

Chitra Shankar is an unparalleled representative of the ancient but ever new art dance traditions of India. She has been on stage since 1978. Her role as a performer, choreographer and teacher combine admirably with her textile designer background further enriching the beauty and the creativity emboldened by art and bound by tradition. She founded Chitrakala in 1995, as the umbrella organization for the promotion of Indian Art forms including: the performing arts- dance and music, the contemporary arts through textile design and manufacture with traditional Indian base, and the traditional arts -painting, sculpture and forms. Today, Chitrakala has operations in India as well as in Singapore.

A leading exponent of Odissi, the ancient and traditional dance style of Orissa and rooted with a background of intensive training in Bharatanatyam and Indian music, Chitra has created and presented original choreographic works based on Indian mythology as well as contemporary issues.

According to Chitra, "Dance embodies art. It embraces the qualities, traditions and nuances from a wide variety of art forms... melody from music, the rhythm of the heart, the passion of life, the symbolism from sculpted and sketched postures, the poetry of romance and the prose of everyday living.""Art must continue to represent the current milieu of life, it must represent society in its current manifestations to continue to draw audiences and appreciation while contributing to social growth, peace and development." says Chitra.

On her future plans, Chitra proposes to develop her school for performing arts in Singapore in the immediate future and continue her exploration into the wonderful world of dance, music and adapt them to bring in greater peace, satisfaction and quality to life.

For about Chitra Shankar, please visit her at her website

Chitra Shankar can be reached at
Visits Since Sept 15, 2007