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Shibaranjani

Shibaranjani, a school of dance founded by Dipanwita Roy in 1984, has been instrumental in the promotion of Indian classical dance by training young talents who have developed into solo artists of repute with many prestigious performances and awards to their credit across the globe.

 

We strive to promote the diverse cultural heritage of India by organizing various events including performances, lecture-demonstrations and workshops, independently and in collaboration with other local and international arts organizations.  

 

We have also been instrumental in the promotion of artists who actively promote Indian classical dance and music in their local communities outside India, through sponsoring and organizing for them various types of showcases in the USA and India. 

 

Shibaranjani encourages talented disabled and underprivileged students by supporting their dance education, providing them with prestigious platforms to showcase their talents, nutrition, and healthcare. We have titled this project, SHAKTI, which in Sankrit means “strength”. Project SHAKTI’s short-term goals include raising sufficient funds to provide these students with dance costumes, food and healthcare. Our mid-term goals include raising funds through which Shibaranjani can continue to organize events where these students showcase their talent. And our long-term goals of course include continuing this effort and motivating more and more talented underprivileged children to find their way to us. 

 

In the recent years, Shibaranjani has grown tremendously and now has branches in India, UK, France and the USA, which are all headed by senior disciples of Dipanwita Roy. 

Guru Dipanwita Roy

Founder & Artistic Director

Dipanwita Roy is an eminent Odissi Dancer and a disciple of the great Odissi Gurus Padmavibhushan Late Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra and Padmashree Late Shrimati Sanjukta Panigrahi. She has performed at major cultural centers in India and has extensively toured U.S.A., U.K., France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy where she undertook performances, workshops, and demonstrations.

 

Dipanwita is an “A” grade National Artiste of television in India. In 1996, under a scholarship from the British Council Division at Calcutta, she attended the International Summer School at the prestigious “Laban Centre for Movement and Dance”, London, where she studied Pilates body conditioning exercise, choreography and functional anatomy. In 1997, Dipanwita had worked for a documentary film “YET TO SPROUT” on destitute children of India, and in 2004 “GATEWAY TO HEAVEN” on the Jagannath Temple, Puri (Orissa).

 

She holds a distinction for senior diploma in Odissi from “Prayag Sangeet Samiti”, Allahabad, and has been awarded the title “Singarmani” by Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai (1986), and "Bharat Nirman Award" by the Bharat Nirman Award Committee (2009).

 

Dipanwita’s sensitive rendering of dramatic expressions combine with impeccable coordination of body movements blend to make her a dancer of considerable talent. Apart from being a dancer, Dipanwita is also a painter, which had assisted in her interpretation of the sculptural poses of the Odissi dance. 

Priyadarshini Roy Banerjee 

Director

Priyadarshini was tutored in the nuances of Odissi by her mother Guru Dipanwita Roy. Priyadarshini’s first performance was at age four and at six she made her solo debut on television (Doordarshan Calcutta). She has since performed solo and in groups at numerous cultural centers in India, Europe, and the US, and also on television. Priyadarshini’s best memories are of dance demonstrations and performances to promote Indian culture at schools and universities in Europe and the US. In the recent past, Priyadarshini has performed or held workshops and demonstrations at prestigious venues such as the Nehru Centre (Indian High Commission) in London, Auditorium du Musée Guimet in Paris, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York, and National Television in India. She has worked in experimental projects with other Indian classical dance forms, Western classical, and contemporary, all of which were critically acclaimed by the press and audience.

 

Priyadarshini holds the Prabhakar Degree in Odissi (with Distinction) from Prayag Sangit Samiti, Allahabad. She has also trained in Kathak, Indlan classical music and Rabindrasangeet. Priyadarshini has received several awards and accolades for dance, music and dramatics, including the Siranama Award for “The Best Upcoming Dancer” and the Sangit Kala Mandir "Best Performer" award in 2002.

 

In 2002 Priyadarshini began teaching Odissi at Shibaranjani and another organization Sangeetayan, based in Calcutta. On moving to New York in 2011, Priyadarshini started holding Odissi classes for beginners at Navatman, and is also currently teaching at various locations in New York, Westchester and Connecticut.

 

Under the guidance of her illustrious mother, and other renowned gurus under whom she continues to train in Odissi and Abhinaya through regular workshops and intensives, Priyadarshini has developed into an established young artist of immense talent and reputation of her own. 

June Dhar 

Director

June Dhar was born in Kolkata and raised in Coral Springs, Florida. She began studying Bharatnatyam at the age of 12 under the guidance of Dr. Neha Shah at Nitryanjali School of Dance. She has participated in numerous shows during the years of her dance education in Florida and completed her Arangetram in 2004. During the time when June was a senior student under Dr. Neha Shah’s tutelage, she assisted with teaching Bharatnatyam. She recently participated in 'Anvita’, an adaptation of sleeping beauty in the form of Indian classical dancing, and has under her belt numerous other programs at prestigious venues in the New York area, since moving to New York in 2010.

 

One of June’s mantras in life is that ‘The world is your stage and life is nothing but a dance!’ This is one of the reasons she believes in passing on the passion for dance because it is so much more than just technique. It’s therapeutic, if you allow it to be. June believes Indian classical dancing is not just an insight into dancing but India itself. Bharatnatyam has helped her stay connected to her country of origin in a way that goes beyond just Indian food, Bollywood and Indian fashion, and she hopes to enable other American Indians/Indians stay connected and excited about being caught in the vastness of two worlds. While expressions and grace is June’s forte her passion lies in choreography, particularly fusion. For June, dancing is equivalent to breathing fresh air, while performing on stage feeds her creative soul.

 

June spent a year in Mumbai, acting, modeling and participating in pageants. She is currently studying Odissi under Priyadarshini and Dipanwita’s direction. June is also intrigued by other genres of dance such as Tango and Hip-Hop and has been attending the Broadway Dance Center to explore those genres further. She loves the idea of combining classical dance forms with contemporary music.

 

June teaches Bharatnatyam at Shibaranjani's locations in New Jersey, Manhattan, Bronx and Westchester. 

Ankita Bhowmik

Director

Ankita Bhowmik was born in Shillong and thereafter shifted to Kolkata in order to obtain further guidance in the performing arts. Her parents, who are both eminent artists, played a vital role in giving wings to her dream. Ankita’s passion for dance crept into her heart very early when she was only 3 years old. She entered the magical world of Indian classical dance while training in Bharatnatyam and Manipuri. With the course of time she got attracted to the nuances of the Odissi style, and this is what made Ankita one of the most talented young Odissi dancers at Shibaranjani under the guidance of Guru Dipanwita Roy.

 

Ankita has performed solo and in group at various prestigious events across India, including events organized by the Bhasha Parishad, West Bengal Tourism, and other Government organizations. She holds the Prabhakar Degree in Odissi (with Distinction) from Prayag Sangit Samiti, Allahabad. Ankita has received several awards and accolades for dance, music and dramatics, including the Siranama Award for “The Best Upcoming Dancer”. She has been appreciated for her graceful mudras and expressions by various national newspapers, such as The Economic Times, The Statesman, and The Telegraph.

 

Ankita is a talented and a passionate dancer who believes that dance is universal and she has therefore forayed into various other dance forms, including Contemporary, Salsa, and Hip-Hop. Her goal is to impart her knowledge to as many people as possible, which she feels will enrich her even further. Ankita is the Director of Shibaranjani’s Bangalore Chapter, and conducts regular Odissi classes and choreographs for events in Bangalore as well as Kolkata.