Maya: the Illusionist

Mayur Dance


In a dramatic Odissi dance exploration of Maya - the idea of worldly illusion in Hindu scripture - a personified version of this mysterious power takes you through tales and times where she alters the face of reality, and asks you to look for her presence in your own life.




60 minutes


Memorial Hall


Thu 7/21 @ 8:30PM
Fri 7/22 @ 9:15PM
Sat 7/23 @ 6:45PM




Recommended For

All Ages


Dance, Performance Art





Maya: the Illusionist is a narrative dance drama about the various illusions we encounter in literature and in life, choreographed in the Indian classical style of Odissi with a twist of contemporary movement. The character of Maya takes us through four types of illusions she casts โ€“ duality (believing a rope to be a snake in a moment of fear), beauty (Odysseus being drawn to the sirens), self (failing to recognize oneโ€™s own feelings or value), and false friendship (following a will-o-the-wisp into darkness). Each of these is depicted through lively and rhythmic dance โ€“ sometimes abstract, sometimes theatrical โ€“ and threaded together to the others by Mayaโ€™s own musings in lyrical dance and narration. In the course of these musings, Maya guides the audience through thought experiments about their senses and challenges them to identify truths they may have taken for granted. While the dance remains faithful to our training and the parameters of our style, the theme, choreography, narrative structure, and costumes are innovations on canonical Odissi performance, and all audiences will leave having seen something they have not seen before.

Created by Mishka Mukherji

Director โ€“ Sukanya Mukherji
Music Composer/Consultant โ€“ Subhashish Mukherji
Light Board Operator โ€“ Arindam Ghosh
Stage Manager โ€“ Arunima Ghosh
Costume Manager I โ€“ Paroma Sanyal
Costume Manager II โ€“ Malini Appalla

Maya - Mishka Mukherji

SCENE 1 (Advaita)
Snakes - Shreya Mathur, Rakhi Rozario, Naina Srivastava (understudy)
Traveler - Srijani Chakraborty, Oishee Ghosh (understudy)

SCENE 2 (Apsaras)
Odysseus - Anjelica Mukherjee
Sailors - Srijani Chakraborty, Riya Deb, Shreya Mathur, Shreekanya Mitra
Apsaras/Sirens - Arna Banerjee, Ramya Griddaluri, Saili Shinde, Naina Srivastava

SCENE 3 (Atman)
Hunt Captain - Oishee Ghosh
Other Huntresses - Srijani Chakraborty, Riya Deb, Shreya Mathur
Male Hunter/Woodsman - Shreekanya Mitra
Puck - Anjelica Mukherjee

SCENE 4 (Aaleya)
Lost Fisherwoman - Riya Deb, Arna Banerjee (understudy)
Fisherwomen - Arna Banerjee, Srijani Chakraborty, Ramya Griddaluri, Shreya Mathur, Rakhi Rozario, Saili Shinde, Naina Srivastava, Anjelica Mukherjee (understudy)

Mayur Dance


Explore our hashtags across your favorite social platforms:

#illusions #illusionist #maya #mayatheillusionist #odissi #odissidance #mayurdance #indiandance #classicaldance #classicalindiandance

Additional Info

At Mayur Dance Company, we are dedicated to the teaching and mastery of Odissi dance, and we seek to build on its traditions by bringing them to the community in new ways. Our work is critical to the survival of Odissi, one of Indiaโ€™s oldest classical dance forms. Our productions bring together the teachings of Odissi gurus, folk traditions, poetry, and our own artistic sensibilities. We seek to cultivate relationships with people working to preserve and elaborate on the Odissi tradition, to improve the technique and style of our dancers, and to preserve the essence of Odissi in our work as the style evolves. We also work to foster our relationship to the wider performing arts world by exploring fresh narrative perspectives and by pointedly seeking diverse audiences for shows, as well as opportunities to collaborate with and learn from other artists.
Our dance film Maya: the Illusionist was made possible by a generous grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland. It is a passion project that we have taken great pains to research and execute, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to improve upon it, develop it for the stage, and share the outcome with new audiences - and hopefully new friends - at Borderlight in Cleveland.


Photo Credit(s): Gayatri Kanungo, Saikat Chakraborty

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