Supriya Nayak is an Odissi dancer from New Delhi, India, based in Toronto. Supriya works with the rich vocabulary of Odissi to present work that speaks to contemporary audiences.. She has worked in collaboration with musicians and dancers for close to twenty years. Supriya brings to her work a deep understanding developed through years of practice and research into the movement, historical evolution, artistic influences, and music of Odissi as well as social and cultural contexts in Odisha. An understanding of her audience is one of Supriya’s strengths, developed through years of presenting performances, lecture-demonstrations, workshops, and teaching Odissi to audiences in India, South Africa, Canada, Indonesia, and other countries.
Before moving to Canada in 2015, Supriya lived and worked in New Delhi, India. She is an accredited artist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Doordarshan (India’s national broadcaster). In India her work has been presented by the National Centre for Performing Arts (Bombay), Bharat Bhavan (Bhopal), Sangeet Natak Akademi, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and India International Centre (Delhi). In Toronto, Supriya has presented her work for Anandam Dancetheatre, Toronto Dance Community Love-In, and Sampradaya Dance Creations. Supriya has taught workshops and classes for Ashoka University, Gati Dance Forum, Delhi Government and others.
Thoughts About Art and Community
My work will create space in Toronto for people to watch and learn Odissi, a dance for which is increasing interest around the world for its rhythms, movements and expressive potential. I also seek to create a space for dance artists in Toronto, especially those working in forms from the Indian subcontinent, to train collectively and share skills, research and training methods through 'Collective for Riyaz', a weekly event in Toronto's West End.
I have been a student, practitioner and teacher of Odissi dance most of my life. I am a performer and interpreter of acquired repertoire and an emerging choreographer. I enjoy working collaboratively with artists of different forms and practices in dances I create and dances choreographed by others.
I teach private and group lessons and workshops in Toronto. My classes bring together years of Odissi practice, a deep interest in the history and development of the form, as well as a study of the Alexander Technique and yoga to better understand movement and expression of the body in Odissi.