Supriya Nayak, ODISSI DANCER

About Supriya

Supriya Nayak is an Odissi dancer from New Delhi, India. She has been a student of Odissi, a dance style from the state of Odisha in eastern India that draws its movement and repertoire from sculpture, painting, literature, theatre, and ritual practices, since the early 1990s. Supriya is invested in digging deep into the form’s codified and structured world of Odissi through performing, teaching, choreographing, and writing.

Supriya’s trained in Odissi with Kiran Segal (1992-96, 1999-2013) and subsequently under Ambika Panikar and Aloka Paniker (2013-present). She has also taken lessons in the Alexander Technique, T’ai chi, yoga, singing and voicework, which have enhanced her understanding of the art of movement and performance. She has an MA in Modern Indian History from Delhi University (2006).

Supriya’s dance is informed by an ongoing teaching and writing practice. She taught Odissi at Pallavi Odissi Nritya Sangeet Vidyalaya from 2007-2013, and led a research and training project for the Gati Dance Forum, New Delhi in 2012-13. In 2015, Supriya taught a semester-long Odissi course at Ashoka University. She has also conducted workshops and guest lectures for Sahitya Kala Parishad, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture among Youth (spicmacay), and the University of Toronto, Mississauga’s, Department of Historical Studies, among other organizations. Supriya’s writing has appeared in the Odissi blog Global Rasika.

Supriya’s Odissi performances have received critical praise for ‘an inner joy that communicates effectively’ and ‘the purity of her dance diction’. She is an accredited artist of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and has performed Odissi repertoire in a range of venues in India including the National Centre for Performing Arts (Mumbai), Bharat Bhavan (Bhopal), International Odissi Festival and Orissa Dance Academy (Bhubaneswar), and India International Centre (New Delhi). She has also performed for the premier performing arts department of the Indian government, the Sangeet Natak Akademi. Internationally, she has performed in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and South Africa. While living in Canada (2015-2020), Supriya has performed Odissi for Anandam Dancetheatre, the Toronto Dance Community Love-In’s ‘PS We are All Here’, Sampradaya Dance Creations, and others. She did a community-building project through Hub14’s Community Chest residency in 2017-18 and the LeSwitch residency at Centre de Création O Vertigo, Montreal, through Dancemakers, Toronto, in 2019. Supriya has had the great pleasure of learning from, collaborating with, and dancing in the works of Deepti Gupta, Brandy Leary, Liz Peterson, Nova Bhattacharya and Lee Su-Feh.

Selected reviews

‘…with an inner joy that communicates effectively, Supriya is one of those quietly captivating dancers.’ Leela Venkataraman, The Hindu, New Delhi, 30.9.2011

‘New star on the horizon.’ Time Out Delhi, September 2011

‘The lyrical beauty of the pure nritta (dance) was presented with chiselled mudra (gesture), bhangi (posture) and chhanda (rhythm).’ Meena Banerjee, The Hindu, New Delhi, 31.8.2007

‘Nayak…impressed with the precision of her movements and the purity of her dance diction.’ Kathakali Jana, Hindustan Times, Kolkata, 30.8.2007

Selected performances and teaching assignments