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My story with Odissi

 I don’t think I’ve ever told you this story before. However, it is one of the most IMPORTANT and BEAUTIFUL things India has given me, among so many others. When Classical Indian Odissi Dance found me, and not the other way around. This is my story with Odissi.

There is a very descriptive phrase in India, which is hard to put down in words. The truth is, I could tell thousands of anecdotes or coincidences (??), causalities I’ve been through. But, beware, whatever you ask for, might be granted by India Maa, multiplied by one hundred. 

The phrase is none other than SAB KUCH MILEGA – EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE!       

Towards the end of my first trip to India, which was three months long, it was already very hot, so we decided to go northwards. I was greeted in a most horrific and authentic way. More than 40º fever, psychotropic/psychotronic delirium, and an appalling inability to hold myself up. This is what my first week in India looked like, and I really thought I was going to die. A food poisoning literally KO’d me the first days, so my energy remained low for the rest of the trip. So, the north sounded really good, fresh food and fresh air, maybe somewhat less intense, and perhaps a few days of actual ‘holidays’.  

‘Cause, you know what my friend? When going to India, you travel, you don’t go on holidays. 

I was traveling with my partner at the time. He had already been in India, and had even been studying Sitar for some time. The Sitar is an amazing stringed instrument, that belongs to the classical Indian music family. 

As I was saying, while walking around the village, on the second day, I suddenly saw an ad for Sitar classes. It took me by surprise, because Sitar is not typically played as far north as we were in India.    

The thing is that I showed it to my partner, who was so puzzled when he realized that the teacher was the one with whom he had studied Sitar years before in Varanasi. 

Ok, two things:

  • The first one is the fact that, at the time, there were around 1.1 billion registered inhabitants in India. I can’t tell how many of them could be Sitar teachers, but probably more than 1000, 2000, 10.000? COMING ACROSS THE SAME PERSON IN A DIFFERENT PLACE is like finding a contact lens in a disco at night. Or running into Brad Pitt in your neighborhood.
  • The second one is the distance, between the teacher’s hometown and our location, the shortest route was 1326,7km long.  


My story with Odissi

We went to see him that very afternoon. 

My ex partner decided to take classes with him, obviously. That way, we would spend some time in the same place, and there was a purpose. However, I needed one myself. I was already undergoing an Ayurvedic cleansing treatment with a doctor, a sort of Pancha Karma. Getting rid of the bugs was paramount. 

On the next day, I asked my ex partner’s Sitar teacher if there were some dancing classes in the place. His eyes twinkled as he told me that a good friend of his was teaching Classical Indian Dance nearby. He said his friend was an excellent teacher, and that he had a school/temple with some Indian and foreign students in the same village. 

Girls, you know, I had no idea about where I was going or what I was going to find there. Bear in mind, that nowadays, thirteen years later, there is way much more information and understanding on Classical Indian Arts, hence about what Odissi is (if you want to learn more about this dance, click here). But, back in the days, as long as it involved dancing, I was more than happy. 

I remember crossing the threshold and smelling incense. I remember sitting down timidly. I remember listening to a prayer, right before the movement began, absolutely astonished. I remember they moved in a completely new and unfamiliar way. I remember the sound of the drum. I remember how strong my heart was beating. I remember every single detail as if it were this very moment. I remember falling in love forever. 

And that’s when the Classical Indian Odissi Dance found me.     

And it’s been going on ever since, my friends. More than ten years traveling to India to study, leaving aside my life, my career, my motivations, to walk down a new path, unknown and challenging. It did make me feel alive, though. It made me fall in love and kept me walking and fighting for my dreams.

SAB KUCH MILEGA, everything is possible.

I have no videos or pictures form my first trip to India.. but I wanna show you my very first show in Odissi, at the school I have being study for so many years. Forever love.


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