Guru Sri Vishnu Tattva Das
Guru Vishnu Tattva Das is a dedicated artist who has devoted himself to perfecting the art of Odissi based in the San Fransisco Bay Area, U.S.A.
Born and raised in Mumbai, India, from a very early age, Vishnu had a deep-rooted interest in Vaishnava philosophy and teachings and has dedicated a lifetime inculcating the same doctrines to his life as well as others his life has touched upon. He began his training in dance with Smt. Jhelum Paranjape, director of Smitalay Dance Company in Mumbai. He then traveled to Orissa for intensive studies with Padmavibhusan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra at the Odissi Research Center in Bhubaneshwar.
Vishnu is recognized as one of India's prominent male Odissi dancers and choreographers, and has received acclaim for his performances throughout India, Italy, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the U.S. He has presented hundreds of solo performances, lecture-demonstrations, and master classes. He has also collaborated, choreographed and performed with many dance artists in India and the U.S. He is known for his mastery of this sacred dance form, especially in the Ashtapadi pieces. His holistic understanding and interpretation of it with his own unique perspective touches a chord with the audience, far and wide. Those who watch and learn Odissi from Vishnu, are drawn to his calm manner, his grace, and his extensive knowledge.
Vishnu brings to his chosen art form a vision of beauty, refinement, grace and spirituality, imbued with a divine inspiration, which permeates each step of his dance. He is the founder-director of Odissi Vilas: Sacred Dance of India, formally known as Sri~Krishnasraya, and is a founding member of Kala Sri Sangha, a group of professional Odissi dancers in the San Francisco Bay Area whose interest is to collectively promote Odissi dance.
However, it was US-based mesmerising male dancer Vishnu Tatwa Das who was the show stealer of the festival with his amazing abhinaya like his guru the legendary Kelucharan Mohapatra. ….read more
(by SHYAMHARI CHAKRA, The Hindu, Friday, Jan 04, 2008)
The performance of the session, indeed of the festival, throwing overboard conventional gender trappings, lay in the strapping six-footer now based in California Vishnu Tatwa Das (originally a student of the ORC under Kelucharan Mohapatra), presenting the erotic lyric "Lila He Nidhi". No awkward coyness here while creating a vision of a transformed, nude Radha, who after intimate moments pleads that Krishna return her clothes. .....read more
(by LEELA VENKATARAMAN, “Odissi cornucopia...from Orissa!” The Hindu, Friday, Jan 05, 2007)
Vishnu Tattva Das from USA, swept the audience off its feet, by his rendition of Kuru Yadu Nandana. His sensuality and eroticism was further heightened by the music, carrying everyone into a realm of divine love play between Radha and Krishna. ....read more
(by Rahul Acharya & Sangita Gosain, “National Festival of Odissi Dance and Music”, Bhubaneswar, Narthaki, April 6, 2007)
After my first viewing of one of Vishnu’s dances, relating to the reunion of the divine lovers Radha and Krishna, I left the auditorium stunned. ....read more
(by Sally Christian, “Odissi Wildflower; A Modern Dancer”, In Dance, May, 2007)
You can use the dance and music as a ritual, every day, as a prayer, as devotion,” he says.
That’s true for the dancers and it can be true for the audience. “I see many people who have come and told me it took them on a journey. It was transformative, transcendent. People are in tears.” ....read more
(by RICK POLITO, “Dedicated to movement: Classical Indian dance demands much from students”, Marin Independent Journal, April 11, 2006)
Vishnu Tattva Das is tall, dark hair framing a squarish face, his height reminding one of Uday Shankar, but Das' technical command surpasses the Indian modern dance pioneer's. Clearly enjoying dancing, Das' height and arms accentuates Odissi's sculptural qualities; his mudras and positions benefit from strong, tapering fingers and movements filling the music with remarkable kinetic phrasing. Watching him is unalloyed pleasure and delight. .... read more
(by Renee Renouf Hall, “Parampara in Marin County”, Narthaki, October 9, 2005)
"Dance is a spiritual practice, a meditation that does not distinguish between the sacred and the secular," said Das, who often refers to the teachings of Sri Brahma-Samhita, a Hindi spiritual teacher. "In the spiritual world, Goloka, every word is a song and every step is a dance." ....read more
(by Karen Pierce Gonzalez, “Santa Rosa Performer Celebrates Beauty of Hindu Dance / Das follows drumbeat of his passion, embarks on tour of Hare Krishna temples”, SF GATE, July 7, 2000)