Pursuing a childhood dream

Bijayalaxmi Mohanty at age 4 became the first girl to perform the difficult Bandhya Nritya. That was way back in the 60’s and the place was Puri. Bandhya Nritya involved acrobatic moves difficult to execute. She was immediately noticed and invitations poured in to perform at different festivals in India and abroad. Her dancing style, honed by Guru Debaprasad was lyrical,full of grace and pure Odissi at its best.

Ill health and growing family responsibilities prevented her from pursuing her passion and she vanished into the world of academics after accepting the job of a teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya. Dancing almost vanished from her life.

After a long gap of 15 years she was coaxed into performing at a three-day festival organized by her guru’s institution Tridhara in Bhubaneswar. She was conferred the Guru Debaprasad Award for Odissi(2014) at the same event.

As Bijayalaxmi relaxes in her Bhubaneswar residence, recently retired from Kendriya Vidyalaya, it seems the golden era of Odissi dance has finally  come to an end.

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