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Ileana Citaristi

 
   

 

 

 
Contemporaries  

 

Italian by birth Ileana holds a Doctorate in Philosophy with a thesis on 'Psychoanalysis and eastern mythology'. She has come to Indian dance after years of experience in the traditional as well as experimental theatre in Europe. lleana has been living in Orissa, India, since the year 1979 in close contact with the people, their language and culture. Her mentor in the Odissi dance style is the renowned Guru, Padmabhushan Kelucharan Mohapatra.

She is equally at home with the different martial postures of the Chhau dance of Mayurbhanji which she has learnt under the guidance of Guru Shri Hari Nayak, obtaining the title of 'Acharya' from the Sangeet Mahavidyalya of Bhubaneswar in Orissa.

Her contributions, besides the many performances and lecture-demonstrations given in all the major centres in India, include articles on Oriya culture published in Indian and foreign magazines, research work for film documentaries on Odissi and Chhau dances and practical dance workshops for dancers and theatre workers which she regularly conducts under invitation by different institutions in India and abroad,

Her innovative choreographies in Mayurbhanji Chhau include the Greek myth 'Echo and Narcissus', which was a revelation at the East-West Dance Encounter held in Bombay in April 1985, 'The Wreck' (December 1988), 'Icarus' (July 1991), 'Pancha Bhuta' (January 1996), 'The Journey' (1998) and in Odissi style the ballet 'Maya Darpan' premiered at Nehru Center in Bombay in April 1993.

'A' grade artist from Cuttack Television, Ileana has been awarded the prestigious title 'Leonide Massine for the art of dance' in Italy in September 1992 and the 'Raseshwar' award by the Sur Singar Sansad, Bombay, in December 1994. In May 1996 she won the 'National Award for best choreography' for her dance direction to the Bengali film 'Yugant' directed by Aparna Sen and in 1997 she won the Al India Cine Critic Association Award in the Dance category. She has conducted a research on the Martial Art of Orissa under the aegis of the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, at present she has been granted a senior Fellowship by the Dept. of Culture, Government of India, for writing a book on Kelucharan Mohapatra's life. In Bhubaneswar she is imparting training in Odissi and Chhau dances to local as well as visiting students in her own Institution 'Art Vision', founded by her in the year 1995.