October 2, 2000
The Hindustan Times
At A crowded Kamani auditorium, where Union Home Minister L K Advani, among hundreds of Osh devotees, watched senior Odissi dancer Ileana Citaristi present changing images of Odissi and Chhau through Osho’s Haikus and other sources, it became clear that Bhakti, to the Guru, to a Godhead, to any object or idea, can truly achive big results.
Like Eklavya, Ileana has never wavered in her one-pointed devotion to her Guru, Kelucharan Mahahpatra and to her chosen form, Odissi. Adding Chhauelementsto her experimental compositions, she has steadily created a corpus of taut lines and convincing energy.
Last week, she presented two numbers >from her earlier performances, “Echo and Narcissus” and “The Journey”.
Both fused the images of ballet and modern western dance with the lines of Chhau, the backward leg throws and the new use to which she has put Chhau’s glides balanced on one foot. But it was the final number, “Images of Change” danced with Kathak dancer Nitin Sharma, in which she broke new ground. Based on the concept of Yin and Yang, the premordial Purusha and Prakriti dyality that begins by not being separated, then moves into structured spheres, then complements one another and finally comes together again.
Ileana and Sharma created a beautiful pattening at different levels, lying in the inner-locked fish shapes of Yin and Yang, dancing with spins and spirals, fusing into a lovely duet and ending in the inter-locked lying down position.
Somewhere Osho has said that dance happens when the dancer disappears and only the dance remains. Moments of Ileana’s evening achieved that goal. A very special bouquet for Jyotishekhar Dasgupta for his music.
Shanta Serbjeet Singh