Odissi beats to resonate at Oxford University

Students keen to learn at danseuse Baisali Mohanty's centre on varsity campus

By Anwesha Ambaly in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 13.01.16
Baisali Mohanty announces the opening of Odissi Centre at Oxford University. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 12: The rhythm and beats of Odissi will be heard at the prestigious Oxford University.

An Odissi dance centre will start functioning at the varsity from January 16.

An initiative by Odia danseuse Baisali Mohanty, who is doing her Master's in International Studies at the varsity, the centre will hold regular Odissi classes there. It will be offered as an extracurricular activity for the students and members of the varsity.

Initially, weekend classes in two batches will be held. "Although we have 30 places on offer, the number of applications that we have received is more than double. We will decide on the candidates shortly after inaugurating the centre," she said over email.

Apart from conducting classes for the varsity students, monthly workshops on Odissi will be conducted at other educational institutions such as University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, University College London, University of Manchester and University of Edinburgh among others.

"There is a great demand for Odissi among the youths here. They are aware of the dance form and have showed immense interest in learning it. So, when I made the proposal for the centre to the university authorities, they readily agreed," said Mohanty, a trained dancer under the tutelage of Odissi Guru Gangadhar Pradhan.

Mohanty who is a native of the Puri district, said: "It has been extremely enriching. Cutting-edge research methodology, friendly faculties, great scope for creativity, a passion for contributing to the world of knowledge and a very notable and strong alumni network are some of the high points of being at the varsity here."

The centre will also hold an 'Oxford Odissi Festival' in early May where several noted dancers will take part.