The Journey

Innovative item which  stretches the possibilities of the Chhau style of dance into a modern interpretation of the same.

The piece develops through different moments underlined by the recitation of Japanese 'haikus' by Osho and by the dancer herself.

The ‘journey’ starts at dawn and ends at sunset; it passes through stages which could be associated to phases in one’s own life but it tends to come back and to start every time from the same point, in a sort of unending spiral.

The voice  which at the end asks playfully to the summer moon if “are there shortcuts in the sky?” is the voice of innocence, able with a single question to reveal  the absurdity of human illusions.



Date of production - 1998
Concept & Choreography - Ileana Citaristi 
Music Composition - Jyotishka Dasgupta
Lights - Srikant Chowdhury
Duration - 22 min

Some press comments:

“And what a wonderful presentation it was. Every  movement Ileana used evoked the beauty of the free style. She showed the cyclical attribute of time with the right combination of subtlety and explicitness. At every stage there is a discovery till one comes to self realisation.”

New Delhi, The Sunday Times of India, October 4, 1998

“Dancing with superb control Ileana’s choreography made movement convey its own message. Moving in diagonal lines on the stage with the lights following her in a stream, the dancer was the essence of grace and strength. I have rarely seen legs stressing patterns in space, the stretches and the turns of Mayurbhanji Chhau used to greater effect.”

New Delhi, The Hindu, September 25, 1998

Choreographer's Note

During the mid-seventies I had been associated for some years with the so called 'Third Theatre" founded by the Polish Jerzy Grotowsky where the actor was made to learn how to speak with his entire body and not only with his voice. When I came to Indian dance, the codified language of the Odissi style taught me how to move my body within the parameters of the classical idiom, but it was the more vibrant and adaptable Mayurbhanji Chhau style which inspired me to conitnue the search for a 'full body expression'.

What started years ago with the choreography of the Greek myth 'Echo and Narcissus' is now continuing in this new piece called 'The Journey'.

While in the first one the narative plot of the Greek myth was transformed and re-interpreted through the Chhau movements and the vibrance of the electronic music, in the latter the theme is suggested by the movements themselves and is as suggestive as elusive as the message behind the cryptic lines of the Japanese poem.

In the group choreography 'Pancha Bhuta', the Chhau style has been kept intact and explored in all its richness while along with a variety of choreographic patterns, aims at conveying the theme without the help of any literature.