Orissi: Myths, Legends and Epics

Evergreen to Present an Evening of Orissi Dance
and Hindustani Music

The Evergreen Orissi Dance Ensemble will be joined by the ground-breaking Urvasi Dance Company and faculty member, Ratna Roy, along with Arijit Mahalanabis and his Gandharva Music Ensemble for an evening of Hindustani music and Orissi Dance at The Evergreen State College on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1 at 7:00 pm. in the college's Experimental Theater. General admission tickets are $15 and $5 for Seniors and Students on sale at Rainy Day Records, The Evergreen Bookstore, online at BuyOlympia.com, the Communications Building box office, from 12 to 3 pm daily, or by placing a phone order at (360) 867-6833. There will be a limited number of $50 front row seats for the patrons of Evergreen's Orissi Dance program. For these seats, please contact John Robbins at (360) 867-6651.

Arijit Mahalanabis, an acclaimed Dhrupad singer, a powerful performer, and Visiting faculty at Evergreen, is collaborating with Sri Raman Iyer, a Carnatic musician, in a rare musical number for the first half of the evening performance. That will be followed by "Orissi Dance: Myths, Legends, and Epics." This year the dances are focusing on abhinaya performances, storytelling and retelling of ancient myths through a subaltern lens, a lens of the dispossessed. The acclaimed Thali Naca, revived by Urvasi in Washington State, with rave reviews from India in 2006-07, will open the evening's dance performance. That will be followed by "Batu," a child's dream bringing sculptures to life. The child will be played by 10-year old Sarvani Eloheimo, twice recipient of Washington State Arts Commission's Folk Arts Apprentice Award. Five of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu, Matsya (Fish), Kurma (Turtle), Varaha (Wil Boar), Narasimha (Lion-Man), and Vamana (Dwarf) will be enacted by three female dancers and a male dancer who is Visiting Faculty teaching Yoga at Evergreen for the Performing Arts Lab Program. The pure pallavi (flowering) dance will be led by Evening and Weekend Studies faculty member, Jamie Lynn Colley. That will be followed by "Nava Durga," nine forms of Goddess Durga, with Jamie as Durga and Marissa Betz-Zall as all of the asuras, including Mahisasura, representing the male ego. The final dance number will be the rare "Tara," one of Guru Pankaj Charan Das' famous Pancha Kanya dances, a feminist interpretation of an episode from the Ramayana , performed by the only performing dancer internationally that has had the blessing of receiving the gift from her guru, Dr. Ratna Roy.

Dr. Roy was trained in India in classical Orissi dance, initially in both the women's (mahari) and the men's (gotipua) traditions by Guru Govinda Chandra Pal and subsequently in the classical tradition that evolved from the "mahari" tradition, by Padmashri Guru Pankaj Charan Das, the guru or all gurus. She is one of the few remaining dancers who practice the women's dances in classical Orissi style. It has now become her mission to teach and spread the unique dance style and tradition of her guru. Ratna Roy has received two Fulbrights, an American Institute of Indian Studies Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Award, the Arts International Award, Fund for Folk Culture Fellowship, and Washington Arts Commission's Folk Arts Program Master Artist award the last two years for her dance and has performed and conducted workshops internationally.  

EVENT: Orissi: Myths, Legends and Epics

DATE: Friday, Nov. 30 & Sat., Dec. 1 at 7:00 pm

PLACE: The Evergreen State College Experimental Theater

ADMISSION:  Gen. Adm. $15; Seniors/Students  $5

TICKETS: Rainy Day Records, Evergreen Bookstore, BuyOlympia.com, Communications Building Box Office daily from 12-3 pm or call 867-6833 to place phone orders


INFORMATION:   Evergreen Expressions (360) 867-6651. For directions or more details go to http://www.evergreen.edu/expressions

For more information send e-mail inquiries to