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About The Performance
MetLiveArts Artist in Residence Bijayini’s performances are inspired by—and take place in—various galleries engaging with each site’s architecture as well as its ancestry, stories, legends, and aesthetics that are so different from Odissi’s. For these site-specific creations, Bijayini collaborated with composer Bindhumalini Narayanswamy, who has moved the soundscape away from traditional Odissi music and into unconventional spaces.
Rooted in the temple sanctums, royal courts, and village squares of the Indian state of Odisha, Odissi has been recreated on contemporary stages by performers who at best share fractured connections with the form’s origins. This lands Odissi at a threshold between traditionally coded structures and myriad possibilities beyond them. Satpathy expands Odissi toward these new vistas.
In this piece, Ming Hall – a courtyard within a scholar’s garden in the city of Suzhou, China – inspires a narrative exploration of a poem by Kabir, a 15th century Indian mystic claimed by both Hindu and Islamic traditions. The poem is worldly and spiritual as it employs intimate, erotic speech that is typical to both the Sufi way of Islam and the Bhakti tradition of Hinduism. The speaker invites the beloved into their eyes, and from there into their inner landscape. The ideal here is to become one with the divine by taking in its magnificent vision.
Image: Bijayini Satpathy / photo by Paula Lobo