One moment he is Krishna playing the flute and the next he is the consort Radha anointing her arms with sandalwood paste. Rahul Acharya’s Odissi dance captures imagination and emotion and through his dance creates many different lives, memories and legends. Acharya belongs to a new generation of male Odissi dancers from India. Immersed in the rich culture of Odissi and its devotional roots since early childhood, Acharya has cultivated a deep and dynamic approach to the dance form. A Sanskrit scholar, writer and master of Hatha and Rajya yogas, he began his training at the age of 4 under guru Durga Charan in Odisha, Eastern India. His dance is continually inspired by his guru and the late Guru Debaprasad Das.
“Acharya’s refined sculptural firmness, complex gestural eloquence, subtle musical phrasing and articulate grace are enough to extend most ideas of masculinity…he connects virility to virtuoso delicacy…” -NY TIMES
Acharya is recipient of the Aditya Vikram Birla Kalakiran Award and Ram Gopal Award from the Dance History Society of India. He was the first male Odissi dancer honored by the Sangeet Natak Akademi with the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar Award. He is committed to reviving the Rudra-Magadhi dance style and writing a definitive volume for Odissi dancers with grammar, theory and history of Odissi.
Rahul Acharya photo by Sam Kumar photography