Guru Shishya Tradition
Nilanjana firmly believes that dance is an art form where instruction is not just handed down from Guru to disciple but the teacher is the guiding light who illuminates the path as the pupil takes her own tentative steps towards a lifelong journey. She wishes to bring the same dedication to her teaching. She feels blessed to have Mitra as her Guru and seeks her guidance and blessings in all her endeavors.
Mitra was the perfect guru, with her wealth of knowledge and never ending enthusiasm.
During her visits to Kolkata, Nilanjana has had the honor of learning from Guru Muralidhar Majhi. She has also trained extensively at RDM with her Mentor, acclaimed dancer choreographer Mr. Sukalyann Bhattacharya and has worked under his direction in all the Nritya Taranga shows.
Guru Mitra Purkayastha
Hailing from a family of musicians and artists, Mitra has had the priveledge of training with some of the most famous gurus of Kolkata. Her Odissi training began with Guru Muralidhar Majhi. She is his foremost disciple upholding the traditions of his gharanna. Mitra’s inspiration is her aunt, the illustrious Dr. Manjushree Chakhi -Sircar who specialized in creative contemporary choreography, Nabanritya.
Dance is the only art of which we ourselves are the essence of which it is made.
– Ted Shawn
Mitra danced for many years in the prestigious Dancers’ Guild. She also specialized in Manipuri under Guru Khelendra Mukherjee. She has received dance degrees including Sangeet Prabharak, Sangeet Visharad and Sangeet Sudharak. Since 1978 Mitra has been teaching. Her visionary approach and the blessings of her Gurus have made RDM a leading dance institute of the country. For her lifelong dedication to Odissi, she was bestowed with the prestigious Nrityangana Mahari Award by the Orissi Research Foundation.
Guru Muralidhar Majhi
Guru Muralidhar Majhi was initiated into the Gotipua tradition of Odissi by Guru Arjun Sahu and Guru Bauribandhu Sahu. He underwent training at Lalita Kala Pitha followed by Sangita Mahavidhyalaya in Bhubaneswar. He also studied under Guru Pankaj Charan Das, the master Guru of Odissi. Lalita Kala Pitha bestowed on him the title of Nrityacharya. On relocating to Kolkata he joined the Rabindra Bharati University.
You have to dance to stick to it. It gives nothing back, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.
– Merce Cunningham
Many generations of dancers have directly trained under Guru Muralidhar Majhi. He received national and international appreciation for his choreography and pakhawaj playing. For his invaluable contribution to the world of art, Guru Muralidhar Majhi received the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award as well as the Padmashree Award from the Government of India.