Guru Shishya ParamparaIn the Indian art tradition, an artist’s first and the most important recognition is the school of thought or the parampara (Gharana) that he or she hails from. Following a certain parampara fixes ones place in the overall art and artists map.
It is identification as important as ones lineage. The artists search is not for a unique self, instead it is for submerging himself in a perennial flow. And when the artist does identify himself, it is only in order to situate or contextualize himself in an ongoing discourse, which is larger than himself. The Guru or the teacher is very significant as he paasses on to the student fine nuances and the essence of generations of traditions.
The maturity of an artist is gaged by the extent to which he has mastered the intricacies of his Gharana under the guidance of his Guru.
Every once in a while there emerges a great artist, a dynamic Guru who redefines and reshapes the existing norms and becomes the fountainhead for a new tradition, a new Parampara, enriched by the past yet bearing the individual stamp of this personality.
Guru Mayadhar Raut is one such Guru. The history of Odissi over the last 60 years is the story of his life and work. He is the source of a distinct style of Odissi known as the Mayadhar Raut Paddhati. His dance style is Bhava Pradhan i.e., Abhinaya is predominant. Guruji’s compositions are known for the intricacies of dance, subtlety of thought and an extensive use of Mudras. A great thinker and a profound scholar, Guruji’s dance compositions are multilayered and have a number of discrete nuances.
True to the spirit of the ancient Indian traditions, Guruji has never sought out the limelight having trained a galaxy of prominent Gurus and dancers. Guruji leads a quiet and meditative life. A multifaceted philosopher, personification of simplicity and honesty, an exacting teacher, he is forever in the pursuit of perfection.
Teaching and sustaining the Guru-Shishya Parampara, he continues to be the high priest of Indian Classical Dance.