The city of Puri in Odisha is one of the most auspicious pilgrimage destinations for Hindus in the country. The famous Ratha Yatra (chariot festival), and traditional dance performances that take place in the temples have almost become synonymous with the city. To commemorate the commencement of the festival this year, popular dancer Rahul Acharya will bring the tradition to Mumbai by performing a number of Odissi dance items titled Rasa-ashraya. The show will be held at the NCPA on July 1. Rahul, who is an avid devotee at Jagannath Puri, is known for graciously incorporating authentic dance steps and songs used by devadasis (a girl married to a deity and dedicated to worship and service of the deity). The idea behind Rasa-ashraya is to showcase the journey of an Indian classical dancer.
“Rasa-ashraya is an initiative not only to witness some authentic dance traditions of the Odissi dance form, but also tells us more about Lord Jagannath, says Swapnokalpa Dasgupta, head of programming (dance), adding, “We always strive to present unique, never-seen-before performances to the audience and with the Ratha Yatra around the corner and Rahul performing as part of it, it will surely be a visual treat for all dance aficionados.”