Harmonizing Passion: Shrinika Purohit’s Odyssey through Odissi Dance


In the heart of Bangalore, a remarkable journey of passion, dedication, and artistry unfolds in the story of Shrinika Purohit, a 13-year-old Odissi dancer who has captured the hearts of many with her extraordinary talent and dedication. I had the privilege of sitting down with Shrinika and her equally talented mother, Sonalika Purohit, to learn more about their inspiring journey and the bond that ties them together.


The Early Beginnings

Shrinika’s tryst with Odissi began at a tender age when she was merely three years old, marking her as one of the youngest dancers to exhibit such grace and skill. Her journey commenced under the guidance of her mother, Sonalika, who is not only her guru but also a living example of pursuing one’s passion with fervour. It was clear from the start that Shrinika possessed a natural affinity for the art form.


Young Shrinika captures the essence of her monumental achievement, receiving an award at a tender age, foreshadowing the brilliance that lies ahead.


“I am a copycat,” Shrinika laughs, explaining how she observed her mother’s dance moves even as a baby. “When I was in her womb, she used to crave to dance and practice. I think this is how I inherited her charm and the passion for this wonderful art form.”


A Shared Passion

Sonalika, who had resumed her own Odissi rehearsals just two months after giving birth to Shrinika, noticed her daughter’s keen interest in the dance from a young age. Rather than imposing her passion on Shrinika, Sonalika nurtured her daughter’s interest, fostering a strong bond between them. “It was never pre-planned that my daughter would also learn Odissi just because I was a dancer. When I saw her enthusiasm and interest in the dance, I nurtured it further,” Sonalika shares.


Amidst the applause, Shrinika and her mother, Sonalika, shine, a testament to their shared love for dance and dedication.


As Shrinika grew older, her dedication and hard work paid off. She performed on stage for the first time at the age of three, astonishing audiences with her grace and poise, even wearing a diaper underneath her intricate Odissi attire. The mother-daughter duo’s performance of ‘Madhura Ashtakam’ received widespread acclaim, a testament to Shrinika’s burgeoning talent.


A Balancing Act

Balancing school, dance, and family might seem daunting, but Shrinika handles it with remarkable maturity and responsibility. Not only is she an accomplished Odissi dancer, but she is also a top-performing student in her class and plays a significant role in her family dynamic.


“She’s a sweet, caring little mother for all of us,” Sonalika proudly says. “She ensures that I take rest and not stress myself.”


Shrinika’s brother, Shriansh, also benefits from her nurturing nature. “She makes sure her younger brother Shriansh is up-to-date with all his assignments and studies,” Sonalika adds. Even her father receives her loving care, with Shrinika humorously referring to him as the “most stubborn child in the family.”


Guidance and Accolades

Shrinika’s journey wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance of her accomplished mother, who has meticulously trained her in the intricate techniques and expressions of Odissi. Alongside her mother, her mother’s gurus and mentors have played a pivotal role in shaping her artistic journey, ensuring that she masters this ancient dance form with finesse and authenticity.


Shrinika’s remarkable achievements have garnered national recognition. She was distinguished as one of the 21 young prodigies of India by esteemed national channels News 18 and CNN. Adding to her accolades, she was honoured with the prestigious Aekalavya Award in 2022, presented by Lasyakala of Shri Saswat Joshi. Notably, Shrinika shared this distinguished award with her mother, marking a historic moment as it was their first joint reception of this esteemed recognition. Shrinika is termed the Wonder Kid of Odissi. She was also awarded the prestigious Odissi Pratibha in 2014 at the tender age of four.


Her dedication has garnered her numerous accolades and awards. Hailed as a prodigy, Shrinika has performed at prestigious events and festivals both at national and international levels. Remarkably, she has danced on the same stage as dancers much senior to her, leaving audiences and critics alike in awe of her remarkable skills.


Shrinika’s dance not only captivates but also earns the admiration of all who witness it.


A Bright Future Ahead

Looking ahead, Shrinika’s passion for dance remains unwavering. With her focus set firmly on her art, she continues to astound audiences, performing at a level that belies her age. Her commitment and attitude toward her passion are rarely seen in children her age, prompting many to predict a bright future for this young prodigy.


When asked about her dreams for the future, Shrinika’s response is simple and heartfelt: “Undoubtedly, dance holds a special place in my heart as my absolute favourite pursuit. However, I also envision a future in the realm of Business Administration, aspiring to become a successful businesswoman.”


Apart from her enchanting dance performances, Shrinika’s artistic talents extend to drawings and calligraphy, both of which have garnered admiration within her school community. Notably, she self-taught herself the art of calligraphy, diligently practising at home to refine her skills.


Recently, Shrinika participated in a Model United Nations (MUN) event in Pune, a testament to her enthusiasm for meaningful debates and discussions. Attending her school, Vibgyor High, this young achiever’s curiosity fuels her desire for excellence in any endeavour she undertakes.


In her pursuit of enhanced flexibility, Shrinika has embraced learning gymnastics for the past 9-10 months. Demonstrating remarkable progress, she has managed to excel in this discipline as well. Shrinika’s unwavering dedication serves as an inspiration to fellow students at her dance institute and also to her brother. Her commitment to her varied interests has not only garnered respect but also positioned her as a role model among her peers. Furthermore, other parents often hold Shrinika up as an example for their children, encouraging them to excel in domains such as dance and studies, in a bid to emulate her impressive journey.


With her incredible talent, unwavering dedication, and the unwavering support of her mother, Shrinika Purohit is poised to leave an indelible mark on the world of Odissi dance, reminding us all that age is just a number when it comes to pursuing one’s passion. Her multifaceted pursuits showcase a passion for both the arts and academia, embodying a spirit of continuous learning and growth.

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