Nilanjana Banerjee, the famous Odissi Dancer, is well-known in India as well as all over the world. She was introduced to the art of dancing at a very tender age by the great Odissi revivalist, Guru Mayadhar Raut of Delhi. The solo debut performance of Nilanjana Banerjee was at an Indian community event in Hartford, Connecticut. Nilanjana was born to a young couple in Kolkata. When her family moved to Delhi, Nilanjana started to learn dance from Guru Mayadhar Raut. Similar to that of a young sapling eager to have water, she absorbed all the knowledge and skills her Guru offered her. She displayed extraordinary dedication as a very young child.
Nilanjana Banerjee also holds a Diploma in performing arts. She has performed at several youth cultural festivals in India. For some years she learnt Bharatnatyam from Guru Smt. Vasanti Subramaniyam of Bhatkhande Hindustani Sangeet Mahavidhyalaya. She also took a short break from dance, but her unquenchable thirst to learn Odissi continued. She also got trained by Guru Smt. Mitra Purkayastha, artistic director of Rhythms of dance and music, New Jersey. The great dancer, Smt. Mitra was able to raise the dancing skills of Nilanjana. Her encouragement and guidance proved to be a key turning point in the life of Nilanjana Banerjee. Nilanjana Banerjee still seeks the blessing of her Guru in all her works and strictly adheres to the gharana of Guru Padmashree Murlidhar Maji. After relocated to the United States, this Odissi dancer has performed widely in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York area.
There are several organisations for whom Nilanjana Banerjee has been performing on a regular basis which include Festival of India by CIO, Pragati (Philadelphia), NABC 2005 Madison Square Garden, (Bengali Associations), ICC, Kallol, NJPA, IFMP(Princeton), Bridgewater Temple, Marathi Vishwa, Oriya society, Wayne. Nilanjana performed at the Ekal Vidhyalaya fundraiser in the year 2007 which was attended by the chairman of Zee TV network. Nilanjana Banerjee was also a member of the first prize winning team at the prestigious Zalak, 2009 Indian dance festival, Princeton of Guru Smt. Mitra. In the same year she also got a chance to perform as a solo artist in the Banga Mela in Atlanta. The dancer also gives several lecture demonstrations at a number of public libraries in order to popularize Odissi dance in the Unites States.
A choreographers' meet in Edison, NJ was attained by Nilanjana Banerjee. The event was organised in the honour of Mr. Longines Fernandes, the famous Bollywood choreographer of Jai Ho fame. In the year 2007, Nilanjana Banerjee got the opportunity to perform at the Ekal Vidhyalaya fundraiser organized at the Gandhi temple, Wayne, NJ. The chairman of Zee TV network, which is the premium Indian TV network, Mr. Subhash Goyal was present as the guest of honor. Nilanjana also took part in the 2005 Bangasammelan, organized at the prestigious Madison Square Garden, New York city. The North American Bengali Conference lasting for three days was one of the mega events for the Indian diaspora. The Bridging Gap Series is a first step taken by Nilanjana Banerjee to make the Odissi dance popular among the mainstream and draw close the two great cultures. There are several lectures to her credit and the interactive sessions were well received in New Jersey. Apart from Bergenfield and Kinnelon, the towns of Edison, Ridgewood, Wayne and Randolph are helping her in her endeavour. According to Nilanjana Banerjee, Odissi is doubtlessly a lasting spiritual journey.
(Last Updated on : 21-01-2010)