Recognized today as one of the leading soloists in the field of Odissi Dance and engaged in the performance, teaching, administration and research aspects of dance over the past fifteen years , AYONA BHADURI holds Bachelor of Science with a major in Chemistry and Master of Arts in Public Administration from Indira Gandhi National Open University. An alumna of Modern High School for Girls, Kolkata having passed out of the institution in 1998, Ayona trained in Bharatanatyam for seven and a half years till 1998 under the tutelage of late Smt. Meena Mukherjee in Kolkata and was subsequently awarded Sangeet Vibhakar for Bharatanatyam by Bangiya Sangeet Parishad, West Bengal. Upon completing high school she opted for a career in Indian classical dance and was selected to train in Odissi at Nrityagram, India’s first dance village founded in the outskirts of Bangalore by noted Odissi dancer Protima Bedi, where she was groomed from 1998 till 2007, during which time she toured extensively with the internationally acclaimed Nrityagram Dance Ensemble both in India and abroad.
At Nrityagram, apart from her training in Odissi, Ayona was also exposed to Abhinaya,Yoga, Pilates, Kalaripayattu, Modern Dance and Ballet techniques, Chi gung, Theatre, Voice & Gesture, injury prevention and Teacher's training methods by great masters such as Smt. Kalanidhi Narayan, Navtej Singh Johar, Dr. Kannan Pugazhendi, Wolfgang Hoffman and Theater der Klaenge (Germany), Tracy Strauss (New York). She also imbibed the nuances of Guru Pankaj Charan Das’ style of Odissi from Dr. Ratna Roy and Guru Debaprasad Das’ style from Sangeeta Dash.
Some of her notable performances with Nrityagram were at American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow dance festival, Spoleto USA festival, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Central Park Summerstage, Skirball Cultural Center and Symphony Space, New York to name a few.
She further enhanced her skills working with Kolkata-based leading choreographer Sharmila Biswas as Senior Repertory dancer and Administrator at her institution Odissi Vision & Movement Centre (OVM) from August 2008 till April 2012, during which time she performed at the Maximum India Festival hosted by the prestigious Kennedy Centre of Washington DC, USA and also traveled to Senegal, West Africa, Sri Lanka and South Korea. For a year (2012-13), Ayona also sought guidance from Smt. Madhavi Mudgal, honing her abhinaya skills, learning choreographic approaches and enhancing her artistic aesthetics in dance music and movement.
Based in Kolkata now, Ayona works as an independent artist choreographing her own work and is currently engaged with research on Odissi under the aegis of Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi for the scheme - Safeguarding India's Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions. To fulfil a strong need to expand her knowledge base so as to grasp the depth of India’s rich cultural heritage, which Indian classical dance represents and extensively portrays, she acquired Diploma in Nrityashastra securing first class with distinction from Nalanda Dance Research Centre, Mumbai and has also successfully completed a Course on Indology at Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark, Kolkata submitting a dissertation titled – The Dancer, Her Dance and the Temple Within: Exploring the sacred links of Indian dance with the Hindu Temple.
In 2015, she was invited to write for Global Rasika, an online dance journal in which her article INDEPENDENT SPIRIT: MY JOURNEY AS A SOLO ARTIST was published which can be viewed at –
A recipient of Junior Fellowship (2016-2018) and Senior scholarship (2001-2003) for Odissi Dance, both from the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, Nalanda Nritya Nipuna Award 2010 by Nalanda Dance Research Centre, Mumbai and Odissi Jyoti title 2009, Ayona is an empanelled artist of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Govt of India and India World Cultural Forum (IWCF) and has performed solo all over the country receiving critical acclaim everywhere.
Noted for being a most mature dancer amongst others and possessing a combination of stage presence and excellence of technique that allows her to stand out in the crowd, The New York Times reviewed her dance as, ‘Ms. Bhaduri is …. a quite extraordinary technician. Tiny details of individual fingers, extended or clenched, became absorbing in her performance; different rhythms, alertly shown, made her mere walk riveting. Circuits of turns and jumps were delivered with breathtaking assurance….the fullness of commitment she gives to dance execution makes her a most impressive performer.’
Apart from being an active performer, Ayona is also an accomplished teacher of Odissi dance. An accredited member of International Dance Council, CID, UNESCO, which certifies her as a dance teacher of international standards, Ayona has taught the nuances of Odissi in Bangalore and Kolkata training both school children and aspiring professionals
One of the rare few amongst dancers to have a keen interest in dance administration, Ayona has a working experience of 4 years with Odissi Vision & Movement Centre, Kolkata as its Dance Administrator wherein she was responsible for preparing Annual Progress Report , Work Plan & budget of institution, Grant Application to Ministry of Culture, Government of India, preparing training curriculum, class schedules, examination & events annually and ensuring their effective execution, liaising with organisers for performances, managing accounts, press & publicity, updation of mailing list & all due correspondence. While with OVM, Ayona was the festival administrator for two of its festivals – Poorva Dhara 2009 and Living with Odissi 2008. In 2013, she was chosen to be the Coordinator for Pratibimb, a two day national seminar on Indian Classical dance at Ananya Dance Festival curated by Seher India, a leading Arts organisation based in New Delhi.