Director: Sharmila Biswas
Duration: 00:18:22; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 35.304; Saturation: 0.435; Lightness: 0.072; Volume: 0.103
Summary: The 4th International Odissi Dance Festival in 2011 was held from December 23 to 30, 2011, at Rabindra Mandap Bhubaneswar. The festival was preceded by an attempt to create a world record by having around 550 dancers perform together at Kalinga Stadium. It saw the participation of most major Odissi ensembles in Orissa and a few from outside the state. With performances for over twelve hours each day, the festival featured several hundred performers in solo, duet and group works over eight days. In its scale, the festival offered a bird's eye view of the landscape of contemporary Odissi and its ever-changing nature. It foregrounded new trends in choreography, music and costuming. The seminars during the festival sparked lively debates on issues and concerns in Odissi. One such concern, voiced repeatedly, questioned the definition of tradition within the space of the dance form and the limits it could be stretched to. This raised parallel questions about innovation and experimentation in Odissi - a debate that found itself mirrored in the performances during the festival.
Sharmila Biswas is an Odissi dancer and choreographer. Trained by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, she has learnt the art of abhinaya from Shrimati Kalanidhi Narayanan. Sharmila has undertaken extensive research on the ancient Mahari dancers – the temple dancers of Orissa. Currently, she is imparting training to young dancers at the Odissi Vision and Movement Centre, Kolkata. Sharmila has received various awards and honours for her work, including the Uday Shankar Award for Best Choreography in 1998 from the Department of Information and Broadcasting, Government of West Bengal. She has also been awarded fellowships by the Department of Culture, Government of India, and Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.
She performs an ashtapadi that she has choreographed herself.