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Intensely Soul – Transformational Odissi 2012 Australian Premiere

Sydney based Nirmal Jena and his Delhi based sister, Pratibha Jena Singh, present powerful and poignant Odissi dance and music in their first Australian tour together. Audiences in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be mesmerized with soul stirring and energetic dance and music. Representing fourteen generations of performing arts, this brother and sister duo practices their family’s unique style of Odissi pioneered by their father and guru, Surendra Nath Jena of Odisha India. For them, the arts are a way of life, ageless, timeless and universal.   Both Nirmal and Pratibha are trained in many genres of the arts.

They dance, sing and play several instruments. Each performance will feature duets, solos and a live music presentation. For Nirmal and Pratibha their art is abundantly more than a discreet tradition from Odisha in India; it reflects the wisdom and knowledge inherent in ancient and diverse traditions of the world, an essential link between the past, present and future. They are passionate about using their dance and music to transform modern societies and inspire a focus on the ‘inner’ or emotional and spiritual capabilities. Performances in each city will be followed by public workshops enabling participants to experience more deeply the essence and power of the arts to influence every aspect of life.

The 2012 Australian premiere of Intensely Soul is the result of collaboration between many individuals and organisations – National Gallery of Australia, Australian National University South Asia Program, Canberra Dance Theatre, Sydney Fringe Festival, Sydney Sacred Music Festival, The Italian Forum (Leichhardt, Sydney), Monash Asia Institute, Monash University & Academy of Performing Arts, Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre, Ausdance Queensland, Kultour and Orioz Inc (national association of the people of Odisha living in Australia).  2012

Surendra Nath Jena was born in the village of Utchapur in Odisha, India in 1924 into a family of artists and farmers. At the age of two his father died under the oppression of British colonial rule, leaving behind a young widow and three infant children. Unable to provide for her children, Surendra’s mother would walk for days selling fruit, vegetables and any other wares she could gather to earn a few rupees and eke out a living for her young family. At the age of nine, Surendra left home and thus began his own journey into the arts.

In 2007, Surendra Nath Jena died in Delhi with his wife, Kumudini, and his four children – Nirmal, Pratibha, Rekha and Rama – by his side. Just prior he had been presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi award by the President of India for his lifetime contribution to Indian arts. Upon receiving the award, Guru Surendra Nath Jena was heard saying I do not dance for the audience and I do not dance for recognition; I dance for my soul and self-realisation. As the oldest of his four children, Nirmal and Pratibha are passionately committed to promoting and sustaining their unique family art of dance and music. Nirmal has lived in Sydney, Australia since 1992 and Pratibha lives in Delhi. In 2012, they are collaborating to present an Australian tour of Intensely Soul: Transformational Odissi Dance and Music.

Later the tour will extend to India and many other countries throughout the world but their journey together will begin in Australia, a country known for its rich Aboriginal history and recognized as the most culturally and linguistically diverse nation in the world.

NATIONAL TOUR DATES (Performances & Workshops)

Canberra Performance Sat 15th Sept 7-°©‐9pm James O Fairfax Theatre National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place Bookings Essential (02) 6240 6528 Workshop Sun 16th Sept 12.30‐2.30pm Canberra Dance Theatre Cnr Barry Dr & Kingsley St, Canberra City Bookings Essential: Mob: 0422000691

Sydney Performances Wed 19th Sept 7‐9pm,Sat 22rd Sept 9‐11pm,Sun 23rd Sept 7‐9pm Italian Forum Cultural Centre, 23 Norton Street, Leichhardt Bookings Essential: Sydney Fringe box office Tel: (02) 9020 6980 or Workshop Mon 24th Sept 6‐8pm Italian Forum Cultural Centre, 23 Norton Street, Leichhardt Bookings Essential: Sydney Fringe box office Tel: (02) 9020 6980 or

Melbourne Performance Sat 29th Sept 7-9pm Monash Music Auditorium Bldg 68 Monash Univ Wellington Rd, Clayton Bookings Essential: (03) 9905 1111 Workshop Sun 30th Sept 10.30‐12.30pm Monash University Drama Theatre Bookings Essential: (03) 9905 1111

Brisbane Performance Sat 6th Oct 7‐9pm BEMAC, Qld Multicultural Centre 102 Main St, Kangaroo Pt Bookings Essential: (07) 3391 4433 Workshop Sun 7th Oct 10.30‐ 12.30pm BEMAC, Qld Multicultural Centre 102 Main St, Kangaroo Pt Bookings Essential: (07) 3391 4433

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