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Odissi dance
Shipra Mehrotra performing Odissi dance, Odissi dance, 2018; Framingham, Massachusetts;
Shipra Mehrotra performing Odissi dance, Odissi dance, 2018

Framingham, Massachusetts
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Shipra A. Mehrotra
Norfolk, MA
verticle bar apprentice
Priya Bangal
Newton, MA
"Poetry, musicality, stagecraft and costume are all part of the training. Priya Bangal, apprentice"

Shipra S. Mehrotra is a lifelong devotee of Odissi, one of the seven classical dance styles of India. Originating in the eastern state of Orissa, Odissi's origins can be traced as early as the 3rd century BC. In its modern form, Odissi has two main stances, chauka and tribhang, The latter gives Odissi its sculptural quality - these poses can be seen on panel reliefs and intricate carvings throughout temples in Orissa. While Odissi is now performed on stage, it retains its devotional essence.

Shipra is part of the Orissa Dance Academy (ODA) lineage whose style is distinguished by controlled and sustained torso movements, musical phrasing, and refined abhinaya (expressive mime) rooted in detailed study of ancient Sanskrit literature. Shipra learned from esteemed masters in the traditional guru-shishya (master-disciple) tradition. During her training, she became fluent in the Odiya language and studied iconography in temples of Orissa and their influence on Odissi dance.

Although apprentice Priya Bangal grew up in Maharashtra in western India, she was drawn to the lilt of the music and the soft, fluid, and undulating movements of Odissi dance. Prior to studying Odissi, Priya had trained in Bharatanatyam dance. Priya moved to Boston in 2011 and began study with Shipra in 2015 at the Avantica Academy of Dance.

The apprenticeship will focus on the dance, music, and poetry of Odissi Dance. In addition to learning advanced technique and nuanced facial expressions, Priya will sing lyrics and recit bols (percussive syllables) as she is dancing. By the apprenticeship's end, Priya will perform a full Odissi repertoire.
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