Raga 2023: ABHIPSAA – A SeekingOrganised by: The Esplanade Co Ltd
Performed by: Bijayini Satpathy (India)
"A performer of exquisite grace and technique." – The New Yorker
"[Satpathy] may be five-foot-two, but she dances like a giant." Marina Harss, Dance Magazine
Mesmerising and immersive, ABHIPSAA – A Seeking charts a personal journey of discovery in physical, emotional, and spiritual realms. In four choreographic works, revered dance doyen Bijayini Satpathy expands the parameters of the formal and representational norms of the odissi tradition through both narrative and non-narrative dances, reimagining classical odissi forms through her own interpretation.
This work was first premiered in Dec 2021 across two sold-out two evenings at Duke Performances. This critical success, a dramatic exploration and reshaping of an ancient tradition, catapulted Satpathy to the forefront of the field. After decades of performance and study, Satpathy calls upon deep kinetic and emotional insights to evolve a revered cultural art form into an entirely modern expression.
This work was made possible with additional funding from the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This presentation at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay marks its Asian debut.
Considered one of the foremost masters of odissi in the world, Bijayini Satpathy has enjoyed a vast career as principal dancer, master teacher, and respected scholar. Renowned the world over for her grace, Satpathy embodies the spirit and profound storytelling of classical Indian dance in a way few others have achieved.
Satpathy has been hailed by the likes of New Yorker, Dance Magazine and international press around the world for her unparalleled artistic expression. Her passion for odissi was instilled at age seven with teachers at Orissa Dance Academy. She is one of the most recognisable names in Indian dance today in large part due to her 25-year career with the famed Nrityagram Dance Ensemble. She studied and perfected odissi with Nrityagram as performer and principal dancer from 1993 to 2018.
In 2021, she was commissioned by Duke University and the Baryshnikov Arts Center for her solo presentation, ABHIPSAA - a seeking, which premiered in New York across two sold out evenings at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and is currently being toured around the world. She was the Artist-in-Residence with the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the 2021-22 season.
Photo credit to Arun Kumar