Boston Center for the Arts Presents Odissi Dance by Priya Bangal on Nov. 23

Photo by Olivia Blaisdell
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BOSTON, MA — Boston Center for the Arts and Avantica Academy of Odissi Dance present a performance of Odissi dance by Priya Bangal under the artistic direction of Shipra Avantica Mehrotra.

Pravāha: The flow of tradition will be presented at the Plaza Theatre at Boston Center for the Arts at 7:30 pm on Saturday, November 23, 2019.

Tickets are available at:

The Venue

Boston Center for the Arts is the nexus of the arts in Boston, fostering the development of contemporary visual and performing arts and convening artists and audiences to create, explore and celebrate all creative disciplines.

An integral part of the cultural fabric of the city, BCA utilizes its historic campus in the vibrant South End to present world-class exhibitions and performances, provide affordable work space, engage cultural consumers throughout the region, and nurture artists with the resources to take risks and develop new art works.

The Program

Odissi is a classical dance from the state of Odisha in eastern India that has its roots in ritual temple dancing dating back to the 2nd Century BCE. Known for its sinuous form and rapt expressions, Odissi brings to life the sculptures that ornament the walls of the ancient temples of Odisha. Pravāha {Sanskrit: stream; flow; current; unbroken series or succession} features works from the traditional Odissi repertoire conceived and choreographed at Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneswar, India. These traditional dances are rendered through the contemporary outlook of Artistic Director Shipra Mehrotra by dancer Priya Bangal in her Odissi Dance debut. Pravāha is a realization that presenting classical traditions through new perspectives contributes to their continued flowing vitality rather than surviving as stagnant pieces of antiquity.

The Dancer

Priya Bangal is an Odissi dancer currently training under Master Artist Shipra Mehrotra at Avantica Academy of Odissi Dance in Norfolk, MA. Priya has performed Odissi at various dance festivals in the Boston area including the Harvard ArtsFirst Festival at Harvard University, Dance for World Community Festival in Cambridge and an Education through Dance program at the Fessenden School in Newton. Priya is a recipient of the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship awarded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, along with her mentor Shipra Mehrotra. Priya has co-founded Samvād, a forum that facilitates informal interaction between Indian Classical dancers and musicians in Boston. Priya was initiated into Odissi by Jayashree Mohapatra of Woburn, MA. Prior to her training in Odissi, Priya trained in Bharatanatyam dance for several years.

The Director

Shipra Avantica Mehrotra is recognized today as a leading Odissi dancer, choreographer, and educator. Shipra’s technical virtuosity and evocative abhinaya showcase the innate lyricism and theatricality of traditional Odissi while she simultaneously revitalizes the dance form with her contemporary perspectives. This balanced approach has earned her the opportunity to perform at several prestigious events and dance festivals across the United States and India. The New York Times described Shipra’s performance at the 2010 Erasing Borders dance festival as ‘wholly poetic’ and ‘the truest revelation of dance itself’. Shipra is also the founder and artistic director of the Avantica Academy of Odissi Dance, where through an absolute commitment to excellence, she hopes to successfully pass down the timeless art form of Odissi to future generations.

The Support

Pravāha is supported in part by the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship awarded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council to Master Artist Shipra Mehrotra and dancer Priya Bangal for FY2019. This program enables a sustained one-on-one mentoring experience, where a committed apprentice learns a traditional art form under the close guidance of a recognized master. After an intensive year-long apprenticeship in traditional Odissi Dance, dancer Priya Bangal will present a capstone performance of the repertoire that was passed down to her from the lineage of Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneshwar, India — where Shipra learnt it from the esteemed masters of Odissi. Together, they hope to carry forward this Pravāha, the flow of a glorious tradition.

Photograph: Olivia Blaisdell


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