(Last Updated on : 26/07/2014)
Sreyashi Dey has been regarded as one of the proponent of the traditional old classical dance style, Odissi. She is a direct disciple of Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, who is the founder-director of the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneswar. Guru Mayadhar Raut has inducted Sreyashi Dey into Odissi during their stay at New Delhi.
Multifaceted personality Sreyashi Dey under Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan in the Pandanallur style and Lalita Shastri in the Kalakshetra style has also received training in Bharatanatyam. More than two decades she passed acquiring training in the dance forms. Rigorous training through these decades spearheaded her foundation, which is needed for an outstanding performing career. Throughout her career she has executed her performances in many highly esteemed dance festivals and occasions. More or less performances by her took place in India. She has performed in the festivals organized by esteemed institutions such as Sahitya Kala Parishad, Sangeet Natak Akademi, India International Center, India Habitat Center and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Afterwards Sreyashi Dey went to US in order to pursue graduate degree in Economics. She has also received an MBA degree after completing her Master's degree in Economics. Apart from dance, Sreyashi Dey also possesses a highly acclaimed business career in market research consulting. Since the year 1995, Sreyashi has lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here she has founded a dance company namely Srishti Dance of India with the aim of 'specializing in the performance and preservation of the Odissi style of Indian classical dance'. She served the company as the Founder, President and Artistic Director. With her business experience, she however managed to install Srishti as a 'professionally run organization with sound management practices'. Today through her organization and as a solo performer, Sreyashi's creative world is continuously expanding. Her choreography and collaboration with the performing artists are the new added advantage of her creative world.
Sreyashi Dey though incorporates her creativity through her dances, but never unplugged its roots in the classical dance techniques. Her innovation into the art from helped a lot to broaden the boundaries of performing arts. One of the major experiments she did with the traditional dance form is the 'cross-cultural collaboration'. To name a few 'cross-cultural collaboration' are: Our World, One People, Many Faces with the Mary Miller Dance Company and UMOJA African Arts Ensemble; Ramayana:
A Dance Drama in Two Traditions of India and Indonesia collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Indonesian Gamelan Ensemble; Ancient Rhythms A Tapestry of Indian Classical Dance Yoga and Storytelling collaboration with Alison Babusci; And What is My Life to You? Collaboration with poet Andrea Read and Ugandan dancer and drummer Sylvia Tamusuza. An added quality of Sreyashi Dey is that she has composed dance pieces for the theatre. One of those theatres to mention is Girish Karnad's 'Hayavadana'. Many workshops, master classes, multi-media presentations and lecture-demonstrations on Indian classical dance have also been conducted by her.
Sreyashi Dey has exhibited her performances throughout. Some of them are: Bharata Natyam Arangetram, India International Centre, New Delhi (1982); Rashtrapati Bhavan (Indian President's House), New Delhi (1983); Ravindra Manch, Jaipur (1984); Kalamandir, Calcutta (1985); Young Dancers' Festival, India International Centre, New Delhi (1985); Convention Hall, Ashok Theatre, New Delhi (1985); Trade Fair Authority of India, Shakuntalam and Falaknuma Theatres, New Delhi (1985-86); Azad Bhavan, Indian Council for Cultural Affairs, New Delhi (1986); New Artist's Forum, India International Centre, New Delhi (1987); Yuva Mahotsava, Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi (1987); Indian Association of West Lafayette, Indiana (1987-88); Stanford India Association, Kresge Auditorium, Stanford University, California (1992) etc.
Sreyashi Dey has choreographed and performed in the lead role as the Artistic Director of Srishti. For solo Odissi performances, she traveled in many cities in the US every year along with the artists of Srihti. Several major grants and awards have been conferred to Srishti under the leadership of Sreyashi Dey. She has choreographed some major dance dramas, which received high acclamation through out the world. She has staged Ramayana and Rabindranath Tagore's Chitrangada in Pittsburgh. In the year 2002, she has experimented using Odissi and Kathakali styles of dance and composed 'Karna and Kunti'. 'Yaatra: Journey' is the recently choreographed pieces by Sreyashi Dey.
Still today Sreyashi Dey is in a process to sharpen her skills as an Indian classical dancer. She always attempts to incorporate some fresh creative quality to her compositions.
Sreyashi Dey with several performances, lecture demonstrations, workshops and coordination with illustrious artists has however created awareness on Indian performing arts cultural traditions. Thus her audience and critics always felicitated her for her outstanding execution. Presently she is serving as an Assistant Faculty at the Music Department at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, US. Her responsibility there is to teach Indian classical dance with a Cultural Perspective. Apart from using her creativity for the professional purpose, Sreyashi Dey also uses this art form for many social causes. To mention a few this social causes are: 'raising funds for natural disasters and education/development projects in India and other causes'.
Sreyashi Dey is another name of a tireless effort to preserve the tradition old art form Odissi. One step that she has adopted is that training of new generation of Indian-American dancers. She has devoted herself to the cause of promoting the art form in the US.