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Odissi steps move Japanese

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 27: She is as good at dancing ballet as at jazz and a wide range of other modern dances from across the globe. But nothing keeps Sachiko Murakami as engrossed as Odissi.

The dancer from Japan has not only fallen in love with Odissi, but Odisha too, as she believes that she has found her spiritual self here.

Sachiko hails from Osaka in Japan where she was introduced to classical ballet at the age of six.

“I wanted to learn some form of dance that could bring out the spiritual self of mine. Thankfully, in 1993, a friend suggested me to pursue Odissi and I joined classes given by Saeko Hamada, a senior disciple of Madhavi Mudgal,” says Sachiko, who was deeply moved by the grace and divine aspects of Odissi. She even went on to train herself in Mahari dance from US-based dancer Ratna Roy.

“The intensity of emotions in Odissi and the background of Odisha that led to its formation inspired me greatly to give back something to this place and the dance form. So, I started a dance school in my hometown. Since 2000, I have been coming to Odisha for a few months every year to continue my training from the Odisha Dance Academy where I got a chance to learn under Rojalin Mohapatra, Lingaraj Swain and revered Guru Gangadhar Pradhan for almost a decade,” says Sachiko.

“Though I am a Japanese, I wish I can really work for Odisha and spread Odissi throughout the world,” says Sachiko, who is presently in Bhubaneswar.