When I was little, I was always fascinated by the ability of storytelling and charismatic moves by the Manipuri dancers. I used to sit and watch my sisters learning the dance from their guru, and that’s how my learning started. One time during Rath Yatra, which we celebrate for 9 days by performing dance and songs to commemorate Lord Jagannath’s visit, out of nowhere, while my sisters were performing, I went and started performing. All the audience were surprised, as I was very little then, and for a boy to dance in front of a huge audience was unexpected. People started appreciating me and that encouraged me to pursue dancing. I continued to learn from my cousins and performed in various community gatherings.
Once I was at this book fair, I found Pandit Uday Shankar’s biography and his dance style. I got instantly attracted to his dance style as it is a little more creative. I explored more of this style and with my background in classical training, it was relatively easy to adopt this form.
After class 10th, I started learning Kathak due to its footwork and Chakkars. I was admitted to Polytechnic Institute after my 10th class and done a quite few stage performances. After my diploma, I went to Chennai for my Graduation in Engineering. During my time there, I stopped dancing and was more focused on my studies. Chennai is the hub of Bharatnatyam but I never got a chance to learn and I still regret that.
After my graduation, I landed a job with Infosys at Bhubaneswar and joined the dance club. I joined as a member performing and eventually leading the club as the Head. I met some amazing dancers. The best thing about Infosys is that they gave us the platform to pursue our hobbies and extracurricular activities. I started learning the Contemporary style of dancing when I was in Bhubaneswar with the basics of Ballet. Sometime later, I moved to the US for an assignment and stayed there for 2 years. I continued learning dance there too.
One of my best performances in dance was at Infosys. It was an annual Fest. One of the performances that we included was a fusion of Kathak and Russian folk dance on ‘Hawa Hawa’ from Rockstar movie. I know once you enter professional phase of your life, your interests and passion takes a backseat, but I think I have been able to balance both well so far and hope to continue doing so.
Total Work Experience : 12 Years (Unisys, Infosys)