Dance: Following Footsteps

Prachi Hota
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Odissi is the oldest dance tradition in the world, and like many of India’s classical traditions, it has a clear set of conventions while providing its practitioners artistic freedom within the tradition. Also, like many ancient traditions, its practitioners grapple with issues of modernity and how the modern and the ancient co-exist within these traditions. Prachi’s answer to those questions has always been that India’s classical arts have always been sophisticated enough to grapple with modern concerns without losing their essence. In keeping with that belief, Prachi presents Following Footsteps, a repertoire of traditional choreographies of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Guru Gangadhar Pradhan and Adiguru Pankaj Charan Das, an attempt to follow in the footsteps of the Gurus who have charted this art form.

Prachi Hota has over two decades of training in Odissi and has been performing as a professional for the past fourteen years. She started her training under the well acclaimed Odissi dancer, Guru Arpita Venkatesh in Kolkata. After moving to Delhi in 2004, she began training under Guru Hare Krishna Behera, and remained under his tutelage for nine years. Due to Guruji’s ill-health and subsequent demise, she is now training under Guru Y Asha Kumari. She has also received guidance from Gurus Aruna Mohanty, Kumkum Mohanty and Kavita Dwivedi.

She has performed in festivals of repute across the globe and has received many awards and titles including a National Scholarship from the Centre for Cultural Research and Training, Government of India, Padmavati Yuva Pratibha Puraskar, Nritya Vilasini, Natya Bhramari, Subhadra Samman, Devadasi Ananya Nartaki Puraskar, Natyakala Chathura and Nritya Vidhushi. She is trained in the Sitar and Hindustani vocal music.

She has been associated with Project Anjuman, as part of which she conducted workshops in schools across Delhi, to help develop in students the 21st Century skills of creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. She also organises seminars on Indian dance titled Samanubhasana – Conversations on Indian Dance to create a space for discussing issues that affect Indian Dance in the 21st Century.