Annual Odissi Dance Workshop in Berkeley.


Dates: Tuesday, Oct 16-Sunday, Oct 21, 2018

Times: 10 am – 2 pm Odissi Classical Dance Training (Wed and Sun we start at 9:30 am); 3-5 pm Odissi Classical Dance Choreography Lab

*Sunday, Oct 21; Special 2 hour Indian Fusion Belly Dance workshop (open to public)  2:30-4:30 pm

Our favorite annual workshop is back! This is a strong and motivated professional dance training for regular attendees and new students alike.


Modeled in the same way as a typical day at our school in Rajasthan (Shakti School of Dance), students will receive 4 hours per day of professional dance training, as well as instruction in the subtle practices of yoga, strength training, and philosophy.  These additional teachings are signature teachings Colleena has compiled for her own school’s training programs, which she finds essential support the artist into a deeper experience of dance.  This workshop is open to all levels of experience, but please note that classical Indian dance is a rigorous practice that requires a certain level of strength and stamina.


The daily schedule will include:

VINYASA KRAMA YOGA: A highly authentic Yoga practice of slowing the mind and body by deepening the breath.  The breath leads each movement through the series by gently awakening subtle energy channels, rather than simply stretching muscle tissue.  From asana we build up to Pranayama practices to increase endurance for peak performance, followed by pratyahara and meditation for fine-tuning our concentration skills.  We will open each day with these practices, which will take less than an hour to complete.

THERAPEUTICS FOR ODISSI DANCERS: With special guest teacher!
Discovery anatomy and specialized movements to reprogram and realign your body for more efficient movement in Odissi dance.

STRENGTH TRAINING: Specialized movements to build muscle and find balance in order to benefit our dance bodies.  These are compiled from Colleena’s extensive background and quest for perfection.  The exercises will include inspiration and techniques from:  Pilates, Classical Ballet training, Indian martial arts (Chhau and Kalaripayattu) and traditional Odissi warm-ups.

ODISSI TECHNIQUE: Stepping… The first steps of Odissi, but not the last! Beginners and professionals alike use this “stepping” practice (20 + 2 basic phrases) to refine one’s rhythm sense, develop precision in footwork, find grace in the upper body and hand movements, as well as build stamina, confidence and dexterity through the mantra-like repetition.

During the last few days of our time together, common movements and short dance phrases of the Odissi repertoire will also be shared to give students a taste of what classical choreography feels like.  In Odissi, choreographies are traditionally preserved through a lineage and slowly passed on over the years.

Indian classical arts are based on a vast and ancient system of philosophies that interweave and create the context for some of the greatest works of art in human history.  This year’s special theory class focus is:

Anga Shuddhi and Abhinaya: Special Topic this year!
Anga Shuddhi is to purify the limbs of the body through the vinyasa of isolated gestures. Like learning an alphabet, students memorize possibilities of movements that later build up in to sentences and finally are used to tell story through this “language of gesture” unique to Indian classical arts. Hasta (hand) mudra, eye movements, head movements, etc., are just a few of the details that can create a complex language used in abhinaya (the storytelling aspect of the dance). All of the Indian classical dances share this common root vocabulary that is well documented in the ancient treatise on dance, Natya Shastra. Theory lectures and practical memorization will culminate with exploration in the applications of isolated gestures in abhinaya compositions and group exploration.

Beginning students are welcomed. In this 6 day Odissi choreography lab Colleena will split students into groups according to their level of Odissi proficiency. Odissi choreography is a process of memorization and refinement that can require years for a choreography to become “polished”. Attainable sections of choreography will be taught to beginners, while returning students will work on polishing their repertoire as well as learning arasa of new choreography.


– Water bottle
– Small snacks
– Pen and Notebook (for theory class)
– Dance Clothing:  Please wear *modest, comfortable dance clothes that allow you to open the knees completely and squat to the floor.  Baggy or flared pants are not recommended, because they will get in the way of your intricate footwork.  Stretch pants that are tight-fitting at the ankle are best (so your teacher can see your feet).

Indian traditional dance clothing is preferred, which is either a dance sari (with blouse and leggings underneath) or salwaar kameez (tunic and pants), but not required.  Additionally, a few practice saris will be available for purchase on the first day of the workshop.

The studio will be open during the lunch break.  Feel free to pack a (non-messy) lunch.



SUNDAY Oct 21st, 2:30 – 4:30 pm

Indian Fusion Belly Dance Drills, Techniques and Combinations: Learn Colleena’s trademark style Indian Fusion Belly Dance broken down into techniques and drilled, then woven together into several phrases layered with rich details. Colleena will share movements that offer a sweet combination of aesthetics to create that elegant Indian mood – integrating details of Indian classical dance, with earthy, strong, fluid belly dance. Traditional movements will be looked at and how we can intelligently embellish and combine movements, without loosing their original flavor. At least one year of belly dance training is required for this intermediate class.




Full package – 36 hours Program  = $680

Odissi Training: 4 hours per day for 6 days, Odissi Choreography Lab: 2 hours of training for 5 days, Indian Fusion Workshop: 2 hours on Sunday afternoon.

Odissi Package – 34 hours Program = $650

Odissi Training: 4 hours per day for 6 days, Odissi Choreography Lab: 2 hours of training for 5 days. No Fusion Workshop.

Odissi Half Day Package – 24 hours = $550

Odissi Training: 4 hours per day for 6 days.

Indian Fusion Workshop – 2 hours on Sunday Oct. 21st, 2:30-4:30pm = $45

Registration Options

Please note:  this workshop offers NO REFUNDS, for any reason.

Please plan carefully for this opportunity.
**By completing your payment via paypal, you are agreeing to the terms of this refund policy.**



Join us this year for an incredible dance experience!


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