“As a performer, I am trained to take the audience and transcend them to a different level where they can enjoy absolute bliss. If I don't have healthy people around me, they are not in the right frame of mind to enjoy this bliss. So, I consider it my duty to work with TeachAIDS to spread HIV education in Odisha and other places.” - Aruna Mohanty
World-renowned dancer and leader of the Orissa Dance Academy, Aruna Mohanty has donated her time and voice for the role of the female doctor in the Odia version of the TeachAIDS animated software. The Odia language software will make the TeachAIDS HIV education curriculum available to more than 42 million people in India, as Odia is the official language of the state of Odisha and the second official language of the state of Jharkhand.
With her dynamism and charisma, Guru Aruna Mohanty is one of the finest Odissi dancers in the field. Her unconventional approach to dance and choreography is particularly unique, considering her careful attention to preserving the basic structure and aesthetics of the art form. Her dance reflects her belief in the connection between dance and the soul, as she blends various forms into a beautiful collection of movements.
Aruna is well known for her devotion, perseverance, and commitment to dance. For her contribution to the field of Odissi, Aruna was awarded a fellowship by the government under the India Ministry of Human Resource Development. Her skills have also been recognized by others, as she was awarded the prestigious Mahari Award in 1997 by the Guru Pankaj Charan Research Foundation. In 2001, she was the recipient of the Sanjukta Panigrahi Memorial National Award. Recently, she was presented the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 by the Government of India.
Internationally, Aruna is renowned for her work as the leader of the Orissa Dance Academy, which toured the United States in 2013. She has performed in the prestigious Kennedy Centre and served as a visiting faculty member for the University of California. Her dance troupe has performed in seven European countries and participated in the International Odissi Festival.
TeachAIDS is proud to bring such a creative and inspirational individual like Aruna Mohanty on board our HIV and AIDS education efforts.
Photo: Right: Aruna Mohanty recording Odia version of TeachAIDS script at studio Sur Vibrations in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Left: Animated character of Aruna Mohanty for TeachAIDS animations.