Odisha Sun Times Bureau
London/Bhubaneswar, May 31:
The first-ever Odissi dance festival held at the prestigious Oxford University in the United Kingdom got off to a flying start. The festival held on Friday at the famous Magdalen Grove auditorium of Oxford University left the audience mesmerised, evoking a standing ovation on multiple time.
The festival commonly known as “Oxford Odissi festival” is a brainchild of Baisali Mohanty, a Master’s Degree student in International Studies at the Oxford University, who founded the Oxford Odissi Centre in 2015. The Oxford Odissi Festival is also the first ever Indian classical dance festival being held in the 900 year old Oxford University.
The festival organised by Oxford Odissi Centre in association with Oxford India Society and the Indian High Commission in London was attended by a host of dignitaries including senior Indian diplomats, a number of British parliamentarians, renowned academics of Oxford University, British artists and celebrities and many other notable personalities.
Those performed at the festival included renowned Odissi exponent Padma Shri Ileana Citaristi, Oxford Odissi Centre founder Baisali Mohanty, Turkish dancer GuzinYener, Srilankan dancer Sutha Poonambalam, Elizabeth Verghese, Suwanja Srikantha, Nisha Somasundaram and many other notable dance exponents from over 11 countries. Besides featuring Odissi solo, Odissi duet &Odissi Group choreographies, the festival featured a captivating jugalbandi of Odissi dance with Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Mohiniyattam.
Renowned dance critic 83 year old Padma Shri Sunil Kothari who flew from India to attend the festival described it as a great moment for Indian culture. Senior Indian Diplomat and Deputy Chief of Indian High Commission in London VibhaMendiretta said that the Oxford Odissi Festival will play a critical role in enhancing India’s image in the west. Renowned scientists Dr.Subir Sarkar, popularly known as the Indian father of ‘God Particle’ for his critical role in discovery of Boson particle hailed the effort of Baisali Mohanty in putting up such a captivating showcase of Indian culture.