Urvasi Dance Company

Urvasi Dancers of 2003, 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 both the well-known Gotipua tradition of Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra and in the little-known Mahari tradition of Guru Pankaj Charan Das. 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,  started training in the mahari style in 1977 under the guru of gurus, Padmashree Pankaj Charan Das, in Puri, India.

GARGY BANERJEE,  a member of Urvasi since 1994, has performed in Washington State, Canada, and Germany.

FRANK PETTY  began Orissi as an Evergreen student, but continued his studies after graduation and became a member of Urvasi.

SCHEHERAZAAD COOPER  has performed in Washington, State, Washington DC, Canada, and India since joining Urvasi.

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

FRANK CASEY  is the stable backbone for the Urvasi male dancers.

ANA AGUINAGA,  married to Frank Casey, gave birth last year to their son, Gabrial).

SITARA THOBANI,  the youngest member of the Urvasi dance company, has already  performed in Washington State, Washington DC, Canada, and India.

(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:

The next Urvasi event will be announced at a later time...

For more information see upcoming Urvasi performances on 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

All materials, including all text and images, on this web site are
copyrighted © by David J. Capers 1998-2006 except where otherwise specified.
Webmaster David J. Capers. e-mail ratna-david@olywa.net


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