Save Odissi

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Odissi is an Indian classical dance from the state of Odisha in India that has been around for over 2,000 years. The dance was taught and passed down from guru to student until the British Raj, (1858 - 1947) when the tradition of teaching it was almost killed off completely. Thankfully, because of scholars in India, Odissi was able to be recovered and over time has been taught and danced around the world by people of all ages and races.

One place where you could learn Odissi was the Evergreen State College. For 10 years, Odissi has been taught at Evergreen thanks to Guru Ratna Roy, followed by 20 years taught by Jamie Colley, a former student of Ratna Roy. This 30-year long course at Evergreen has been internationally recognized as the only college course in the world that teaches Odissi on a multi-level. Meaning that we learn everything from the culture that created the dance and its origin, to Hindu gods, and not just the dance form.

Now all of that is going to change because of budget cuts. And Odissi turned up on the chopping block as unneeded education.

The Evergreen State College is a liberal art college, but they have now started to take the arts out of the college.



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