Urvasi Dancers of 2006, Click to see ENLARGEMENT


Established in 1975, Urvasi Dance Company has practiced and promoted the research and practice of classical Odissi/Orissi dance from India in Seattle and Olympia, Washington, USA.

The Classical Odissi dance, as performed by the Urvasi Dance Company, is in the little-known Mahari tradition of Guru Pankaj Charan Das. However, Urvasi has embraced Odissi dancers from other styles as part of the company. The Orissi (literary transliteration) or Odissi (the popular transliteration) dance style is characterized by the unique sculpturesque quality, the separation of the upper torso from the lower half of the body, and in the constant juxtaposition of rhythmic strength with lyrical torso movements. Reconstructed from debilitated remains in the 50ís, Odissi took India by storm in the 70ís and Europe in the 80ís. Ratna Roy was trained under the guru or gurus, one of the principal masters responsible for the reconstruction of Orissi and has performed internationally in Europe, Asia, and North America (US, Canada, and Mexico). She is completing her book on the reconstruction and teaches Expressive Arts (dance) and literature at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

In the last 10 years, Urvasi Dance Company has focused on keeping the Mahari tradition, as taught by Guru Pankaj Charan Das, of Orissi dance alive. Little known in most of India, the tradition is characterized by the lyrical torso movements (even more so than the style most visible in India) and the powerful portrayal of female characters from the myths and epics of India. Click the Mahari repertoire to read what Urvasi has preserved.



(in order of having joined Urvasi)

SHYAMALI ROY HAUTH, trained in Pankaj Das style from 1977 to 1980 under the guru of gurus, Padmashree Pankaj Charan Das, in Puri, India.

GARGY BANERJEE,  a member of Urvasi since 1994, is well known in her home country, Canada.

FRANK PETTY, began Orissi as an Evergreen student years ago, but has become an integral part of Urvasi.

SCHEHERAZAAD COOPER, has been away to Queen's College in Ontario, Canada, working on her undergraduate degree.

JAMIE LYNN COLLEY  currently teaches Orissi as adjunct faculty at The Evergreen State College.

FRANK CASEY  has been on haitus while working on his Masters Degree, but is returning to Urvasi soon.

SITARA THOBANI,  performed her Orissi Ranga Pravesh in Vancouver, B.C., August of last year (2005).

AIMEE MACHIELS, recently returned from Orissa, India.

RUTH NELSON-MOORE, is still in India, but returning soon.

(To see a performer's photograph and read more about them, click on her, or his, highlighted name)

Urvasi will next perform or present a workshop at:

...please click on the Performance Page on the site menu page-left...

Also, for performance information you can check the News page. 


E-mail David Capers at ratna-david@olywa.net,
or Ratna Roy at royr@evrgreen.edu,

Ratna may also be reached by calling (360) 867-6469,
or faxing inquiries to (360) 867-6663


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