Esplanade Presents


IPAC 2022: Vinati - Songs from the Gita Govinda

Surupa Sen (India)

11 Sep 2022, Sun, 8pm

1hr 45mins

(Intermission: 1 x 15mins)

Esplanade Theatre Studio

This event is over.


Eschewing the narrative format of performance, Vinati Songs from the Gita Govinda invites the audience to immerse into sthayi bhaava—a deep emotional state—whether it is the Sakhi torn between duelling emotions, heart-wrenching remorse, or unfettered joy.


Conceived during the isolation imposed by the pandemic’s vagaries, Vinati – Songs from the Gita Govinda is a meditation where there is perfect synchrony between thought, emotion, and expression. This production is both a response to the emotionally fraught times we live in, as well as a challenge to go within and reflect on our choices.

Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra
Surupa Sen

Music Composition
Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi
Pandit Bhubaneswar Mishra

Jateen Sahu – Lead vocal and harmonium
Rohan Dahale – Chants and mardala
Parshuram Das – Bamboo flute
Siba Nayak – Violin
Abhinaya Rohan – Manjira

Lighting Designer & Tech Director
Lynne Fernandez


Mask-wearing is optional. However, audiences are encouraged to continue to exercise responsibility and caution, such as wearing masks when in crowded places.

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: Sanskrit
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Artist Information

Surupa Sen


“According to tradition, largely a solo form, Indian classical dance has succumbed to the ensemble but rarely justified it. Nrityagram’s artistic director, however, transforms islands of activity into an archipelago that stretches across the stage... Sen has writ large the romance between line and curve that distinguishes Odissi!” — The Financial Times   

Surupa Sen, the artistic director and choreographer of Nrityagram, was the first student at the company and began her training with the architect of odissi, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. She has also trained with Guru Protima Gauri, Guru Ratikant Mahapatra and Guru Bichitranandan Swain. She studied abhinaya with Guru Kalanidhi Narayanan and the Natyashastra under the supervision of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam. Surupa Sen is the artistic director and choreographer at Nrityagram.  


Attracted to choreography from childhood, Surupa has spent the last two decades working to research and expand the dance vocabulary of odissi, developing an aesthetic style that distinguishes the dancers from the Nrityagram School. She has created new dances using this expanded language of odissi, while staying rooted in the traditional dance form and the Natyashastra. She also has a keen talent for music and rhythm composition and has worked closely with Pt. Raghunath Panigrahi since 1999.  


Surupa has choreographed seven full-length ensemble shows for Nrityagram, two full-length duet shows and one full-length solo show: 


Śrī: In Search of the Goddess (2001), which consisted of both a non-traditional suite and a reworking of traditional dance.  


Ansh (2004) is a reworking of a typical odissi recital which toured extensively.  


Sacred Space (2006), a show based on temple architecture and its relationship to dance, which toured worldwide including a run at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival.  


Pratimā: Reflection (2008), commissioned by the Joyce Theater’s Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations, premiered in February of 2008 at the Joyce Theater, New York. Vibhakta, from this set of performances, was listed in “The 10 best dance performances of 2008” by famed magazine, The New Yorker.  


Saṃhāra (2012) was Nrityagram’s first international collaboration. Together with Sri Lanka’s Chitrasena Dance Company, it explored the meeting point between the sensuousness of Nrityagram’s odissi and the masculine dynamism of the Chitrasena’s kandyan dance. It premiered in Bangalore in February 2012 and after toured the United States, Sri Lanka, the far-East and India to great critical acclaim. After a four-year hiatus, Saṃhāra returned to the stage in 2017, performing to sold out audiences in Bangalore, The Royal Festival Hall, London Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the USA—including two performances at the Temple of Dendur at the MET Museum, New York.  


Saṃyoga (2012) was Surupa’s first evening-length duet show created for Bijayini Satpathy and herself.  


Songs of Love and Longing (2013) was a response to Jayadeva’s 12th century love poem Gita Govinda, which in song and performance is an integral part of temple worship in Orissa.  


Śriyaḥ (2014) was a selection of new and old works, and has been presented at the Edinburgh International Festival, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Sydney Opera House, Cairo Opera House, amongst others. It was nominated as one of the 10 Best Performances of 2016 by The New York Times.  


Yadunandana (2017) was a solo piece that explores aspects of love for the Dark Lord, Krishna.  


Āhuti (2019), saw the kandyan and odissi dance traditions coming together once again to find deeper connections that embody common cultural beliefs through dance. She has also created two virtual shows: Vinati (2021), a solo for World Music Institute, New York and Upadāna: An offering (2021), for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.  


Surupa received the Raza Foundation Award in 2006, the Yagnaraman Award from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai in 2008, the prestigious Nritya Choodamani from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai in 2011 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Odissi Dance (2018). 

Date & Time

11 Sep 2022, Sun


Esplanade Theatre Studio
Tickets & Prices

Students, NSFs, Seniors & PWDs

Price $35 $28

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