Vayu, the Vedic deity of Wind, has been described as a fast, impatient rider of an antelope who carries a white flag and a fan. He is the bearer of perfumes and the benevolent harbinger of life force, but he is also a wild tumultuous destructive storm. He is the prairie winds of South Dakota. In this classical Odissi dance performance, we will explore the all pervasive Power of the Vayu.

The music has been composed by Sukhamay Bhattacharya, expert sitar-performer and faculty at Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta. The music has been performed by several faculty artists of the Department of Music & Dance at Rabindra Bharati University.

shreelina odissi

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About Odissi dance
About Shreelina Ghosh
About the Artistes


The recital will begin with the chanting of the Rig Vedic Vayu mantra in order to purify the ambience.

Indian classical Odissi performer Shreelina Ghosh reinterprets Mangalacharan (the traditional invocatory dance) in Avahanam. Avahanam means “an invitation”. The dance begins with bhoomi pranam (obeisance to the earth) begging forgiveness for stamping on her. This is followed by homage to Vayu (the Wind deity) using mudras or yogic hand gestures. It concludes with a trikhandi pranam (paying obeisance thrice) in which the dancer offers salutation to God, the Guru (master) and to the audience.
The Sanskrit verses are composed by Shreelina Ghosh. <Verse translated>

Prana Pallavi
Pallavi or “blossoming” is a pure dance piece where the rhythms and musical notes are literally interpreted without much variation of expressions. Both the dance and the music evolve in complexity as the dancer traces multiple patterns in space, interpreting the music dexterously in the multilayered dimensions of raaga (melody), taala (rhythm), and laya (speed). The melody chosen for this piece is Desh. Desh evokes the movement of the monsoon breeze. This dance celebrates the joy of the prairie winds by reflecting the joyous mood of a woman’s scarf dancing in the Wind. The five beat pattern of this piece signifies the five vital forces -- Prana, Apana,Vyana,Udanaa, and Samana.

The last piece, Vatamritam or “nectar of life” is a re-interpretation of the traditional Odissi expressional piece, the Abhinaya. This dance explores the story-telling aspect of Indian classical dance. The sounds, movement, and poetry depict the four facets of the Wind: its gaits, its dispositions, its fierceness, and its benevolence.
The dancer uses the Sthayi Bhava (dominant expressions) and Sanchari Bhava (other expressions that elaborate and supplement the dominant expression) to tell the story of the wind.
This expressional piece uses both the Tandava or masculine and Lasya or feminine aspects of Odissi and also the nava rasas or nine aesthetic expressions, which is an intrinsic of Indian classical dance. The nava rasas are Shringar (love,) Hasya (humor), Karuna (sorrow,) Raudra (fury), Veera (boldness), Bhayanak (fear), Vibhats (disgust) Adbhuta (amazement) and Shanta (serenity).
The dance moves onto a crescendo that is thrilling to both, the eye and the ear. This dance represents a spiritual culmination for the dancer who soars with the sublime wind into the realm of pure aesthetic delight. With the cosmic sound of the conch shell, the dance dissolves into nothingness — just like Moksha or the deliverance of the soul in real life.
Verses used in this piece are by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, A.A. Milne, William Alfred Quayle, Yeats’s translation of Rabindranath Tagore, and a re-interpretation of the Rig Vedic verses by Dr. John Nelson. <Verses>

The recital will feature artistic renditions by Madison-based artists Alan Montgomery, Angela Behrends, Cassie Marie Edwards, and Madison Area Arts Council president Chris Francis.

Creative attributions:

Concept/Choreography: Dr. Shreelina Ghosh
Music Composition/Sitar: Sukhomoy Bhattacharya
Announcements: Deana Hueners
Poetry Recitation: Dr. John Nelson

Mardala/Rhythms: Guru Giridhari Nayak
Vocals: Dinesh Pal
Flute: Chinmoy Karmakar
Sarod: Prasenjit Sengupta
Cymbals: Ashim Mukherjee
Keyboard: Debdyut Chatterjee
Recording: Tirthankar (Bapi) Sikdar

Event Flyer (pdf)

Contact Shreelina: Shreelina.Ghosh at dsu dot edu