Odissi Productions




Hermann Hesse’s ‘Siddhartha’, written in 1922, is a book which, in the early 70’s, inspired a whole generation of young people on their spiritual journey in search of a deeper meaning of life. The protagonist, a young Brahmin, is in search of his self-realization and to reach this goal abandons the paternal home and takes to the life of a wanderer. But an ascetic life and shunning all temptations , does not give him a sense of fulfillment either. He experiences the highs and lows of the sensual pleasures, the lure of money and addiction to gambling, until, almost on the verge of desperation, he finally finds peace on the bank of a river, where an old boatman teaches him the meaning of life the way he has learnt it from observing and listening to the river. He directs Siddhartha to listen to the river and search within himself for an understanding of what the river says.

Odia poetry: Devdas Chhotray
Choreography: Ileana Citaristi
Music: Annada Prasanna Pattanaik, Sachidananda Das


Gaia-Mother Earth


This Odissi-Chhau production is based on a folk tale meant to inspire love and respect towards mother Earth and exhorts men not to destroy the natural environment. The Moon wanders why the trees and vegetation which she is nurturing with love and affection are not bearing any fruit? Men are seen altering the natural course of rivers, plundering the womb of mountains, mining rocks, cutting trees, causing death and destruction to animals and vegetation. The Moon exhorts men to rectify their deeds; only by reconciling with Nature and by considering Earth as their own Mother they will be able to live a happy life.

Choreography: Ileana Citaristi
Music: Shanthanu Mohapatra
Date of composition: 2013


KAALA- Time bound

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A dance production on Time. It travels through different phases. From the latent aspect of the unmanifested Time (‘hrdya ) to the first pulsation (spandan) or primary element to organic life ( Time as creator).For man to comprehend the movements of Time a language of geometry emerges: linear lines, concentric circles, cones, squares and triangles(Time as movement).

Profane Time is conceived as an arrow which travels through past, present and future, the founder of history whereas. Sacred Time travels in a circular path, the path of myths and of the eternal return.

Time devours what he himself has created in an eternal cycle of creation and destruction (Kaala-chakra).The aspiration of Man is to reach a state of transience, to reach a state of timelessness, to live in a perennial Now. The image of the swan who finds its eternal home in the celestial lake, tempted no more to fly off elsewhere.

Concept and choreography: Ileana Citaristi
Music: Annada Prasanna Patnaik
Text: Devdas Chhotray
Rhythm: Sachidananda Das
Dancers: Sagarika Mohanty, Geethanjali Mohapatra, Sunita Maharana , Pallavi Beriha, Anindita Parida, Upasana Mohanty, Mousumi Mohapatra, Saswat Joshi, Rashmi Rekha Das
Date of composition: 2012




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A traditional Odissi dance-drama based on the original script by Babaji Vaishnava Charan Das and Mohan Sunder Dev Goswami. It is the story of the offended Radha, seductive Chandrabali and repentant Krishna, who undergoes different disguises in order to win back Radha’s trust; a classic belonging to the preliminary stage of the Odissi revival. Behind the dramatic plot, which has elements of pathos as well as comic overtures, lies the philosophy of total surrender and final merging of the individuals into the universal soul , propagated by the Vaishnav faith.


Choreography : Ileana Citaristi
Music: Laxmikanta Palit
Rhythm: Sachidananda Das
Dancers: Ileana Citaristi, Saswat Joshi, Pallavi Beriha, Sagarika Mohanty, Sephalika Nayak, Rajhasri Prusty, Minati Mohapatra, Upasana Mohanty, Mousumi Mohapatra
Duration: 52 min
Year of composition: 2011



Odissi presentation inspired by Mother Teresa’s life

This is the story of a woman who, at a certain point of her life, leaves everything behind to follow a call towards the unknown, carrying with her only her unshakable faith and her love for the poorest of the poor, the dying people abandoned on the road, the children without parents and the hungry humanity.
From one she became many, hundreds, thousands who wanted to follow in her holy path. She conquered even the priests of the Kali mandir who saw in her the reincarnation of the true ‘mother’. She has been able to celebrate life in all creatures especially in those most neglected and less considered by society. The dance composition is an humble tribute to her, Who else she could be if not Mother Theresa?

Concept, choreography and costumes: Ileana Citaristi
Music: Laxmikanta Palit
Lyrics: Devdas Chhottrai, Prafulla Kumar Mishra
Dancers: Ileana, Citaristi, Saswat Joshi, Pallavi Beriha, Sagarika Mohanty, Anindita Parida, Minati Mohapatra, Upasana Mohanty
Lights: Dologobindo Rath
Year of composition: 2010



Jalai rakha- A lamp somewhere

A modern Oriya poem which exhorts us to keep alive a flame symbol of hope also in the worst dark situations which life may offer. “Whenever darkness seems to submerge you, sailing in the black ships of waves or it grows mighty like a gail to touch the horizon of your desolation, if you remember me then, I will tell you in secret to keep glowing a lamp somewhere, a shift of light which refuses to die” says the poet.

Lyric by: Devdas Chhotrai
Music: Laxmikanta Palit
Choreography: Ileana Citaristi
Date of composition: 2009

Partha Sarathi or the Divine Charioteer

The immortal sermon delivered by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the battle field of Kurushetra, the Bhagavad Gita, is a lesson of life which still stands meaningful in today world. “ As the ignorant performs action being attached to it even so,oh descendant of Bharata, should the wise perform action unattached, desiring the welfare of the world. Renouncing all actions in me, with your mind resting on the Self and giving up hope and idea of ownership, fight being free from doubts”

Music: Ramahari Das
Choreography: Ileana Citaristi
Date of composition: 2009

Sparsh (touch)

A joyful interplay of movements and rhythm between two dancers.. They respond to the rhythm created by the percussion and at the same time create their own rhythm by contact with each other.

Choreography: Ileana Citaristi
Percussion: Budhanath Swain
Date of composition: 2008


Elaboration of melody, rhythm and choreographic patterns in space. A soft blossoming forth of music and dance ending in a crescendo. This pallavi is in raga Belahari and Tala Ektali.

Music composition: Laxmikanta Palit
Dance choreography: Ileana Citaristi
Date of composition: 2008

Mahanadi…and the river flows


Thematic presentation based on the saga of the great river of Orissa, cradle of Oriya culture. Although it originates in Chattisgarh, the Mahanadi is almost synonymous with Orissa, its history and geography. In this production various myths related to places which are located along its course are depicted. Like the myth of Sabari who waits for Lord Rama in the kantak bana or forest of thorns situated on the bank of the Mahanadi. Or the story of Visuavasu who worships the tribal god Nila Madhava in Kontilo, a small hill inside the river. And the story of Lord Jagannath who was carried along the river upto to Patali Cuttack to escape from the ire of Kalapada. In the past the Oriya merchant used to start their journey from Cuttack along the Mahandi to reach the faraway land of Indonesia on the full moon night of the month of Kartika.

Lyric by: Devadas Chhotray
Music: Laxmikanta Palit
Choreography: Ileana Citaristi
Date of composition: 2008



Bolero :(group)

An Odissi rendition of the famous music score of Maurice Ravel, which has inspired choreographers and dancers all over the world.

Music by: Maurice Ravel
Choreography by Dr Ileana Citaristi
Year of production: 2007

Tarana:Rhydhum (duet)

A joyful item of pure dance. The two dancers keeps pace with the creative interplay of rhythm and voice of the Hindustani musical composition.

Raga: Yeman Kalyani
Tala: Adi Tala
Music by: Taufiq Qureshi
Choreography by Dr Ileana Citaristi
Year of production: 2007

Karpasa, the cotton plant (dance ballet)

This is a dance production based on the environmental issue of ‘agro-biotechnology’ or eco-friendly relations between man and nature. It has been conceived and produced on the occasion of the first conference on agro-biotechnology held in Hyderabad in March 2006. The Moon is looking down and commenting about the fate of the crops which used to be healthier before and asks: Why is it so? The farmers are seen, arresting natural course of water, excavating mountains, planting seeds, spraying chemicals for better profits etc. The Moon is continuing his monologue: Why should Mother Earth give fruits? Her breast is aching, her womb is in pain, she curses the farmers and this is the cause for bad crops and depression and cases of suicides among them. She exhorts the farmers to threat Mother Earth with gentleness and care instead of greed and harmonize with her resources. Farmers understand their mistakes; change attitude. The cotton tree starts again to give its white flowers and farmers celebrate.

Script: P. K Misra
Music: Shantanu Mohapatra
Dance choreography: Ileana Citaristi 
Date of composition: 2006


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An item of pure nritta. A joyful play between two dancers who explore the space around the central gravity point in alternate movements of attraction and expansion.


Choreography: Ileana Citaristi
Music: Laxmikanta Palit and Ratikant Mohapatra
Date of composition: 2006

Tantra (duet)

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The item has three sloka from the Saundaryalahari, the tantric text dedicated to the female energy. This item visually represents the ascent of the kundalini in its snake-like form from the Muladhara chakra upto the Sahasrara or the thousand petalled lotus where she sports with the male principle and her descend to her original abode, the Muladhara where she turns herself into a serpentine coil.

Music composition: Sri Gopal Panda
Dance composition: Dr Ileana Citaristi
Date of composition: 2006



SARAHA, is inspired by the tale of Saraha, the founder of the Tantric discipline in the Tibetan region. Saraha means ‘one whose arrow is shot’. Saraha is in search of a master; he symbolises the man who has lost the contact with the natural part of himself. ‘ The learned has to go to the vital. The plastic has to go to the real’ as Osho says. Saraha finds the real master not in the learned or in the ascetic but in a low cast woman who is totally absorbed in cutting an arrow-shaft in a market place.. The arrow ready, the woman, closing one eye and opening the other, assumes the posture of aiming at an invisible target. There is no target, still she is wholly absorbed in aiming the arrow. The aiming itself is the target. The non dual is the aim Realizing this, seeing into the woman’s action, Saraha totally surrenders to her. They celebrate their union, dancing together in a cremation ground. Where death is,they celebrate life. This is the beauty of Tantra- it joins together the opposites, the contradictories. 

Music by: Sri Anwar Khurshid
Choreography by Dr Ileana Citaristi
Year of production: 2006


Chitrangada (Duet)

The episode of Arjuna and Chitrangada is described in the last canto of the Mahabharata, after the end of the great war.
Chitrangada, daughter of king Parbata, has been brought up as a son by her father who, deprived of any male issue, decides to make a courageous warrior out of her. Since childhood she is denied to play any girl games and spends her youth among the soldiers exercising her skills in handling different weapons..
When Arjuna's white horse reaches the kingdom of Manipura challenging the king to surrender or else to fight with his general, the king sends his daughter to the battle. She fights valorously and defeats the enemies with great strength and courage..

Arjuna from afar sees the valorous and handsome general and he is pleased to have found an enemy worthy of him. They challenge each others and after finishing the horse and sword fighting, the two warriors engage in wrestling. At the contact of each others' bodies, their eyes merge and lost in each other's sight, they fall in love..

Through the experience of love Chitrangada for the first time is able to discover the feminine part of her nature which had been denied to her since childhood..

Dance composition: Dr Ileana Citaristi
Script: Dr Prafulla Kumar Mishra
Music composition: Sri Gopal Panda 
Date of composition: 2005

Abhinaya: Ganga-Yamuna (Duet)

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The confluence of turbulent Jamuna and luminous Ganga is described by poet Kalidasa in the XIII canto of his poem 'Raghuvamsa' as if two different strings of blue sapphires and white pearls are strung together; or like a garland of white lotuses which has blue lilies interspersed in between.
The blue and white waters of the two rivers are described as formations of white and black swans directing themselves towards manosaravara lake or as designs of black and white sandal paste painted on earth.At times it appears as if in the Autumn sky among groups of white clouds patches of blue sky are visible.

The currents of Ganga separated by the influx of the waves of Jamuna, are like the ashes-besmeared body of Shiva on which black and dangerous cobra are playing.  

Dance composition: Dr Ileana Citaristi
Music composition: Sri Gopal Panda, Guru Banamali Maharana
Date of composition:2005


Shivasthakam (group)

In this item the dancers pay homage to Lord Shiva, the Creator and Destroyer of the universe,, from whose hair the river Ganga is flowing, whose body is adorned with snakes and skulls and whose wife is goddess Parvati. The Sanskrit poem is written by the saint poet Shankaracharya.

Dance composition: Dr. Ileana Citaristi
Music composition: Sri Ramesh Chandra Das, Guru Banamali Maharana
Date of composition: 2004



Kapalika Shiva (trio)

The item is in honour of Kapalika Shiva, by whose destructive dance the Universe is renovated at the end of each yuga, who, out of grief for Sati’s death, destroys the sacrifice of her father Dakshya; who enjoys playing with Parvati on the pick of Mount Kailasa and who makes the skulls by which is garlanded, resounding during his dance. To that Kapalika, whose wife is the black goddess Kali and whose neck is black like the river Yamuna, the dancers ask for prosperity and blessing.

Dance composition: Dr Ileana Citaristi
Raga: Malkaus, Tala: Jhampa
Music composition: Sri Profulla Kar
Date of composition: 2003

Pallavi (group)

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The pallavi is an item of ‘nritta’ or pure dance where lyrical music is interwoven into the fabric of body movements. A soft blossoming forth of music and dance ending in a crescendo. The pallavi is a distinctive item of Odissi dance. It is a creative elaboration which flows along and heightens the unique character of a raga. It works up effects mainly through rhythmic variations and cyclic patterns.

Dance composition: Dr. Ileana CitaristiRaga Kolavati and tala Tripata
Music composition: Sri Ghanashyama Panda, Guru Banamali Maharana
Date of composition: 2003


Abhinaya (Duet)

‘Madhura vachana kohonti Mohana’ written by poet Bonomali.
Krishna tries to defend himself from Radha’s accusations but Sri Radha is not won over by his lies and sweet words; she tells him:’ how is it that your face is pale, your eyes are so sleepy, your cloths are torn and your chest bears black marks? With so many marks which reveal your infidelity, how can you think to convince me with your sweet words?’
This song is set to raga. ‘suddha desi’ and tala ‘khemta’.

Dance composition: Dr. Ileana Citaristi
Music composition: Sri Ghanashyamo Panda
Date of composition: 2002

Dasa Mahavidya (group)


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Dasa Mahavidya’ or the ‘ten forms of supreme knowledge’ depicts the ten incarnations of Devi according to the tantric school of Indian philosophy. In this item each form of Devi is presented through a brief visualisation of her myth of origin followed by the description of her anthropomorphic form. The ten incarnations are: Kali or the ‘black goddess’, Tara ‘who guides us across the sansara’, Tripura Sundari ‘who is lovely in the three worlds’, Bhuvaneswari ‘ whose body is the world’, Chinnamasta ‘the self-decapitate one’, Bhairavi or ‘the fierce one’, Dhumavati ‘born out of smoke’, Bagalamukhi ‘who paralyses’, Matangi ‘whose limbs are intoxicated’ and Kamala ‘the lotus goddess.

Dance composition: Dr. Ileana Citaristi
Music composition:Sri Ramahari Das, Guru Banamali Maharana
Date of composition: 2002


Maya Darpana (dance ballet)


The concept of Maya in Indian philosophy is as metaphysical as poetic. Maya Darpan, the choreographic composition based on the Odissi style, has been inspired by the poetic treatment of the concept of Maya in various Upanishads.

In the first scene we are facing the watery surface of the Timeless Being; the moment ‘Time’ or ‘Rhythm’ creeps in, the dimension of ‘Space’ takes shape and ‘Prakruti’ or Nature is born.
From the cosmic union between ‘Prakruti’, the female principle and the male cosmic being, generations of creatures are born. All are limbs of the same body, but they look as separated and individual beings. Through the deception of the five senses, the original oneness is lost into a myriad of experiences which form the insatiable hunger of our lives.


Until tired of this endless run, man looks inside himself and rediscovers the original unity of all.

Concept and script: Sri Jivan Pani
Dance composition: Dr. Ileana Citaristi
Music composition Sri Partho Das
Date of composition: 1993