18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Altered Images
Original: Ruth St. Denis 1906. Retake: Ganga Devi Sheth 2019

The original photo of Ruth St. Denis inspired me because, on her search for ‘spiritual enlightenment’ dancer Ruth St. Denis found that temple dances of India were the answer she was looking for in order to deepen her own dance practice. She discovered that Indian dance not only offered a rich and colorful culture, but it also opened up a world of dance as a daily spiritual practice and mediation. The world began appreciating Ruth St. Denis for her ability to synthesize the two mediums of dance and spirituality, creating a religious revolution around the globe. Current photo: Ganga Devi Sheth being half-Indian and half-American herself and having been raised in both countries is inspired by the work of dance Ruth St. Denis who had a deep appreciation for the spirituality of Indian dance and the understanding of technique of modern movement. Ganga Devi Sheth is dedicated to offering both her audiences and her students a unique, holistic approach to Odissi (Indian Classical Dance) by bridging Eastern and Western techniques and exploring the spiritual and physical philosophy behind dance. She enriches her art by combining the sacred disciplines of Odissi, yoga and the spiritual path of the Bhakti tradition into which she was born, combining them as a wholistic spiritual practice by treating the body as a sacred space.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 04.2019
Date Uploaded: 07.2020
Photo Location: Alachua, Florida, United States of America
Copyright: © Ganga Sheth