Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Interview - Rahul Acharya: a devotee of dance - Lalitha Venkat

A student of Pt Durga Charan Ranbir, Odissi dancer Rahul Acharya is based in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa. A torch-bearer of the Guru Deb Prasad Das style, he was the first male Odissi dancer to be honored with the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar award from the Government of India in 2009. Other than his dance, Rahul is an avid devotee of Lord Jagannatha and well versed in Sanskrit. He is trained in Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga in the Bihar School of Yoga. He enjoys reading and researching on Shastras (scriptures) and bringing them to the forefront through his dance.
Here, Rahul Acharya shares his views on a variety of matters pertaining to Odissi dance.

With the rising popularity of Odissi, do you think the traditional movements are in any way being affected?
Tradition is a transitioning element. There is no static tradition. Customs, beliefs and practices have been altered frequently to suit the changing times. What we practice as Odissi today is certainly not what Bharata mentioned as Odra Magadhi in the Natya Shastra. The style of Odissi that we practice today was not what it was during the 50’s.  When the repertoire of Odissi was being developed the entire Margam hardly lasted 15-20 mins. Today, one single choreography can go on for hours. Thus there is no one tradition that dancers need to stick to. But there is a basic underlying grammar that characterizes Odissi’s antiquity and uniqueness. We have all learnt it as beginners and have practiced it ever since. This basic grammar is the building block of the dance form. Thus it becomes quite important to understand and digest what our masters have passed down to us. We need to preserve this rich legacy that has been handed over to us and take it a step further with our own innovations. 

Read the interview in the site

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday , 29/11/2015- I had an opportunity to watch Oddissi dance of Sri. Rahul Acharya it was an enchanting performance classical dance with Sonali Mohaptra and Gayatri Ranbir.
    My sincere Congratulations.
    C. Satheesan Nair..