Since meeting Smt. Asako Takami in 2004, I have been dancing Odissi in San Francisco, C.A..

Never once in my life have I ever thought of becoming a professional dancer. I never thought Mancha Pravesh was in my scope, nor did ever fancy getting any professional photos taken when I dance. Dance competitions and auditions were never really a thing for me either, still, dance has always been a part of my life. Participating in several performances throughout the year, including school recitals and neighborhood showcases. Even teaching dance here and there, when asked.

At first, dancing for me was a guru seva—serving one’s guru. To me, it was very important to dance in adoration of my guru. I even promised my first guru, Smt. Asako Takami, that I would compile her essays into a book. And was able to do so, after her passing. Asako also wanted to translate Kelucharan Mohapatra Guruji's biography into Japanese, and publish it. However, due to her illness, she was unable to do so. Eventually, I was able to complete this wish of her as well and ended up publishing a translated version of Kelucharan Guruji’s biography ("The Making of a Guru The life and times of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra" written by Ileana Citaristi) just as Asako had wished for.

In 2015, I met my present guru, Sri Vishnu Tattva Das. and I experienced a kind of phase change within my dance journey. After Asako passed away, the precious feelings I had kept locked deep inside were revived on the first day I met Vishnu Guruji. I immediately became his disciple. As I danced the stories of Lord Krishna and Smt. Radha Rani, which I learned from Vishnu Guruji without even understanding the words, I realized that a strong sense of bhakti (devotion) was born within me. Dance is also a path of “awakening.” Both Asako and Vishnu Guruji were dancers that were able to show the path of “awakening,” and everyday I wondered how I could dance like them. Although it started with a simple feeling of devotion to my Guru, I realized that my admiration had been there long before, even since childhood, similar to the feelings of the Gopis who longed for Lord Krishna. I then gained various experiences until I was convinced that Gopi Bhav (the emotions of the Gopis) was the essence of dance.

Translating Kelucharan Guruji's book was like climbing Mount Everest for me. Not being born in either Orissa, or India, I was immensely uneducated in knowing the necessary cultural implications for translating this book. However, Vishnu Guruji generously taught me everything. He taught me everything I needed to know very well. My Oriya dance friend patiently taught me the pronunciations of Oriya names over the phone everyday as well. This translation project helped me open my eyes to see things that I was otherwise blind to, before. Why was the sweet radiant Odissi music and dance born in Orissa? I began to question myself. Then, Vishnu Guruji said, “Go to the land where Odissi was born, feel the unique emotions of what Orissa has to offer.” It is the land of Lord Jagannath. How could I have danced for so long without understanding the emotions of Oriya life? So in 2023, I finally arrived in Orissa for the first time.

Dance brings me closer to becoming a good person. It strengthens my inner self and enriches my emotions. Shedding the ambition to be recognized by others, to be recognized by my Guru, to be above others. Shedding the fear that I might not be able to do what I am doing right now. It is a path that fosters the patience needed in seeking the path of dance that I love so much. It is very challenging, I taking care of my body well, everyday, and try to find ways to dance, even just a little. Gradually, approval from others became something that was insignificant to my growth, and I was able to be satisfied with my own dance. Simply being able to dance is wonderful! Even if my body cannot dance anymore, I know dance will always be with me.

My dance path is not about entertainment or showcasing contemporary art. It is a rather spiritual path that transcends any ordinary kind of performing arts. Items begin to speak to me, and what wonderful, radiant choreography I am able to discover! These items that I am referring to, were created by great gurus who were inspired by the Divine. Then, wisdom is passed from them to my Guru and then to me. Every day, I discover, admire, and am inspired, am moved by dance. Immersing myself in the emotions of the items bring me unparalleled comfort and happiness. Dance moves to tears and always fills me with blissful feelings, immersing myself in the bhava of Odissi music.

I am also one, whose life has been completely transformed by dance. And I feel that is a blessing.




最初のころは、私にとっての踊りはグルセーヴァ、グルに奉仕することだった。グルを慕って踊ることがとても大切だった。私の最初のグル、麻子さんと約束したから、麻子さんのエッセイをまとめた本を書いた。麻子さんがケルチャラン モハパトラ グルジーの伝記(『オディッシー インド古典舞踊の祖グル ケルチャラン モハパトラ』イチアナ チタリスティ著)の翻訳をしたいと言ったから、私が代わりにその仕事を完成させた。

そして2015年、私はヴィシュヌー タッタヴァ ダス先生に出会い、踊りのフェーズが変わった。麻子さんが亡くなってから心の奥にしまってあった大切な感覚が、ヴィシュヌー先生に出会った最初の日に生き返るのがわかった。私はすぐに弟子入りした。そのうち教えてもらったクリシュナ神とラーダの物語を、言葉もわからずに毎日、踊るうちに、私の中に強いバクティが生まれていることに気がついた。踊りは「気づき」の道でもある。二人の踊りは輝いていて、私は毎日、どうしたらあのように踊れるのだろうと試行錯誤した。グルを慕う、割と単純な気持ちから始まったのだが、このころ、私の憧れはずっとずっと前から、それこそ子どものときからあって、それはクリシュナ神にあこがれるゴピたちの気持ちにとてもよく似ていると気がついた。それからゴピバーヴがこの踊りの真髄ということに納得いくまでいろいろと経験を積んだ。





Back to Top