About Smitalay

Smitalay is a leading dance school of Mumbai established in 1989 in the fond memory of the late actress Ms. Smita Patil. 'Alay' means the home of - like in Vidyalay (school) home of knowledge or where knowledge shall always be - similarly 'Smitalay'. 'Smitalay' director Jhelum Paranjape and Smita Patil had been close childhood friends and had began the study of Odissi together. Smita shifted to films while Jhelum concentrated & flourished in Odissi.

The aim of Smitalay is to teach Odissi and broaden the concept of dance (in general) as a visual communicator & educator. The training imparted is two fold: To produce aesthetically & technically good dancers who become professionals and at the same time bring an awareness of our cultural heritage amongst the youth. Our institute has by now trained many budding dancers some of whom are good solo performers, shaving performed in India and abroad too. The institutions group Odissi shows are much in demand.

We have our annual day every year on the 17th of October which happens to be Smita Patil's birthday. Along with that, another annual feature is the celebration of International Women's day - 8th  March. International women's day is observed by women's organisations the world over through seminars, conferences, debates & protests. Smitalay thought of celebrating womanhood through unique cultural events every year. We have started this since 1995

One more annual feature is observing “Sanjukta Day”. The queen of Odissi, Padmashri Sanjukta Panigrahi passed away, leaving a void in the world of Odissi. Smitalay pays homage to dearest Sanjunani (who has been an inspiration), every year on 24th  June - her death anniversary. All students gather at the school and dance before her photograph - continuously for three to four hours. Recently, we have begun a new festival, the Yuva Mahotsav, which is celebrated on the 24th of August, which is the birthdate of Smt. Sanjukta Panigrahi, every year.

Smitalay has a repertory group of artistes, which performs regularly in its traditional shows as well as the new productions of the institute. Rigorous training classes are held at Smitalay. The space available for conducting classes is like none other in the city of Mumbai. Two rooms of 20 feet X 20 feet and a large hall of 25 X 30 feet. Also a huge hall where programs and lecture demonstrations are conducted. An advantage is that all this belongs to the parent organisation - Sane Guruji Arogya Mandir to which Smitalay is affiliated as its dance wing. Sane Guruji Arogya Mandir is a social organisation striving for the betterment of the underprivileged. It is a registered non profit charitable trust. (Reg. No .EP 982)
A unique activity has been started since August 2003. Every last Friday of the month, a student of Smitalay gives a solo performance in the big hall of the institute. All the responsibilities of the performance lie on the student e.g. stage décor, lights and sound, rehearsals, press publicity and getting a good audience. This is done with a view to train the students in performance skills along with the training given in Odissi dance skills.




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Smitalay Students Dipali Tikam, Rupali Kadam and Apurva Dani awarded the 'Odissi Jyoti' title, at the Naveen Kalakar Festival, Bhubaneshwar.