Haiku Spirit

October 9, 2000
India Today Magazine
Dance Trance: Citaristi performing

“Most Indians want to leave the country, while I’ve found complete peace here,” says Ileana Citaristi, an Italian Odissi dancer who’s lived in Bhubaneswar since 1979. A self-confessed Indophile and shishya of dance guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, Citaristi was in Delhi to perform a dance ballet for the Osho World Foundation. “I’m not a sanyasin,” she insists, and adds, “but Osho’s voice was so captivating, I had to perform to it.” Her dance routine, titled ‘Images of Change’, was based on Haiku-(a Japanese form of five-seven syllable poems). Citaristi blended contemporary dance, Odissi and ballet and performed with her somewhat wooden partner, Nitin Sharma. One sequence depicted the journey of a maiden through life. Another, unrequited love. Says Citaristi who now runs a dance institution for local people in Orissa: “Dance is the start to a spiritual journey.” So it seems, judging by the 800-plus crowd present.

-Leher Kala

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