Bani Ray

Bani Ray an exponent of Odissi has been delving in dance since the age of six. She studied dance under some of the most revered gurus and has been learning Odissi since 1970, from Shri Hari Krishna Behera, Valmiki Banerjee, Guru Shri Durga Charan Ranbir, and the Late Guru Shri Nath Raut. Apart from Odissi, Bani has also studied Mohini Attam, Manipuri and various other folk dance forms.

Bani has performed extensively throughout India and the United States and has received numerous scholarships, fellowships, and awards for her expertise in the field of dance. As a joint director of Nehru Institute of Odissi Research and Training in Delhi, India, she has organized international seminars, symposiums and training programs for aspiring young dancers.Bani is currently teaching, performing and doing in-depth research and training on the style and compositions of the Late Guru Deba Prasad Das. Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Bani teaches at Lotus Music and Dance Studios in midtown Manhattan

  • '…Bani is a special asset as a fantastic dancer and charming speaker…' -
    Jennifer Done, Ross Institute
  • '…Ms. Ray handled [the students] with cleverness, creativity and panache. Her artistry and skill with Classical Indian Dance is quite clear as she demonstrated dance movements and hand gestures in class…Ms. Ray conveyed a strong sense of cultural identity…' -
    Mercer County School of Performing Arts, 7/19/02
  • '[Bani's] classes were excellent. [Bani} is an accomplished teacher and a wonderfully humble human being. [Her] presentation of the history of the people and the meaning of each dance…taught and performed was informative. [Her] description of the music, costumes and the concept of gesture was very helpful.' -
    UMOJA Dance Company, 7/25/02
  • '[Bani's] costume style and technique are both beautiful and enthralling. I found it inspiring as did the students.' -
    Mercer County School of Performing Arts, 5/6/02
  • '…Bani Ray was an excellent Sita, and it was easy for us to follow what was happening in that scene because of the clarity of her movements.' -
    Asia Society, 3/19/99
  • 'Everyone was entranced by the artistic, graceful skills of Bani Ray, as a result, some members are aspiring to become her students.' -
    International Society for Krishna Conscious, 3/21/99
  • 'Polish marked Bani Ray's Odissi…..Bani has a petite personality most suited to Odissi. Her items and abhinayan displayed her involvement.' -
    Aashish Khokar, The Sunday Times of India, 2/23/97
  • 'Bani has been learning Odissi with dedication and commitment. She is a good performing artist.' -
    Guru Ramani Ranjan Jena, 3/1/97
  • Delectable Odissi: 'The Oriya song, 'Mohane deli chahi' brought out Bani's abhinayan prowess convincingly. The quick change-overs in e,pyopms were registered subtly and succinctly..' -
    The Statesman, Delhi, 4/15/96
Bani Ray can be reached at

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