Shyamhari Chakra

Seek help for her treatment

She learnt Odissi in India

She was promoting the dance in US before her illness

BHUBANESWAR: The Odissi dancers’ community across the globe has come together in aid of the US-based veteran Odissi dancer Ms. Asako Takami who is suffering from cancer.

The community has further appealed to the practitioners, patrons and admirers of the Indian classical dances to rise to the occasion.

Founder of the Pallavi Dance Group in San Francisco Bay Area, Asako has been staying in the US for the past 15 years performing, teaching and promoting Odissi.

Although she learnt Kathakali, Manipuri and Bharatnatyam, she remained hooked to Odissi after watching the performance of the legendary Sanjukta Panigrahi in Tokyo.

A disciple of New Delhi-based versatile Odissi dancer Ms. Kumkum Lal and Lal’s legendary guru, Kelucharan Mohapatra, she used to visit Bhubaneswar every year for training, but for the past four year as she was diagnosed for cancer.

“Both as a dancer and a human being, she is simply beautiful,” narrated US-based Odissi dancer Niharika Mohanty of Orissa who is instrumental in mobilising the support of the Odissi dancers’ community through odissiyahoogroup being hosted by another US-based dancer.

“Asako, who dedicated her life to Odissi is battling with cancer. She has not been able to dance or teach for almost a year and a half now as the radiation treatments destroyed her right pelvic bone and her right leg has been complete affected. She is extremely debilitated at the point and is mostly bedridden.

Because she has not been able to work, she is in financial crisis. We, her friends and students, are trying to raise money and want to send her back to her parents in Japan,” an appeal from her student Sangumay Ordona revealed.

As soon as the appeal was spread, Muscat-based banker and Odissi dance promoter from Orissa Mr.A.K.Parija has offered a support of 1000 US dollars while Mumbai-based eminent dancer Ms. Jhelum Panajpe has arranged to send her monetary support through her disciples in US.

Concert to raise funds

Meanwhile, New York-based Kathak dancer Prachi Dalal in association with Washington-based Odissi dancer Sonali Mishra of Orissa and Niharika Mohanty has mooted an Indian classical dance concert to raise funds for the ailing danseuse.

The most heart-touching response has, however, come from Mumbai-based budding Odissi dancer and journalist Ranjana Dave whose posting says, “let us, who can not do anything for the devoted dancer, pray for her”.

For further inquiry, friends of Asako can be contacted on dancing_odissi@yahoogroups.com and nmohanty@hotmail.com.