Asako Takami

East Indian Odissi

Asako Takami (left) with her apprentice Chaitee Sengupta.  Photo courtesy of Asako TakamiOriginally performed in the Hindu temples of Orissa, India, more than 2,000 years ago, Odissi dance has experienced a renaissance in the last fifty years.  Odissi is distinguished from other forms of Indian dance by its liquid upper body movement, strong footwork, and sculpturesque poses that evoke the carvings found in Orissan temples.

When she saw her first Odissi dance performance in Tokyo more than twenty years ago, Asako Takami (1960-2007) was inspired to learn this art form.  She studied with several different instructors in India including Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, the creator of the modern Odissi style.  Takami taught, performed, choreographed, and served as the artistic director of Pallavi Dance Group in the Bay Area.

In 2005, Asako was a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program with apprentice Chaitee Sengupta.  During the apprenticeship, Asako and Chaitee worked on three pieces from the Gita Govinda, a twelfth century poem by Jayadeva which depicts the love story between Krishna, an incarnation of the god Vishnu, and his consort Radha.