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Digitization of Dr. Ratna Roy and David J. Capers’ Odissi Dance Collection

May 16, 2023

The South Asia of UW Libraries, in collaboration with Special Collections, digitized a portion of a very special Odissi dance collection, offered to UW Libraries by Dr. Ratna Roy and  David J Capers. Deepa Banerjee, the South Asian Studies Librarian, secured UW Libraries’ Allen Opportunity grant to get this project rolling.

About the Collection

Dr Ratna Roy and David J Capers have spent the last thirty years of their lives building a very special collection of Odissi dance. Beginning in 1985, when Capers first accompanied Roy (who was travelling on a Fullbright Fellowship) to India to record the the reconstruction of neoclassical Odissi dance, the two have been researching, photographing, and making video

and sound recordings of the preeminent scholars, gurus of Odissi dance for decades. Dr Roy herself is one of the preeminent scholars, gurus, and dancers, and is the foremost dancer in the oldest tradition of the dance, that of Guru Pankaj Charan Das. She received her Lifetime Achievement Award from Odisha, the home of Odissi dance in 2015. Capers is a celebrated videographer and photographer whose work has been presented at conferences and exhibited around the globe. Together, Roy and Capers have been able to build an archive of the theory , practice , evolution, history, and heritage of Odissi dance that is without peer in all the world.

You can view a detailed description of the collection, here. The items listed as “electronic files” are the digitized files patrons may come in and view.  Folks who want to view the files will need to make an appointment to visit Special Collections.