Nrityalaya is a school of Indian Classical Odissi dance in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. Being the first of its kind to be established in the USA, Nrityalaya boasts a proud tradition of 24 years now. Under the artistic direction of the founder Guru Chitra Krishnamurti, Nrityalaya has been instrumental in introducing and endearing the community of Potomac, MD to the long and colourful tradition of Odissi. To this end, Nrityalaya has produced and performed a number of shows, ballets and dance-dramas with mythological and modern themes, to packed auditoriums of appreciative audience both in the US and abroad.


Nrityalaya is a family of students and dance enthusiasts: both professional and amateur, children and adults, of Indian and American origin. We are dedicated to learning, not just the motions of Odissi, but immersing in its spirit and aesthetics, and rejoicing the culture associated with it. Guru Chitra adheres to the Guru -Shishya parampara, the ancient Indian method of teaching and learning, where the students forge a bond that transcends the classroom. Students are encouraged to perform at local and out of town events. Nrityalaya is the first school to host its student's Mancha Pravesh. Mancha Pravesh is equivalent of a graduation, where a student first performs a full repertoire to an appreciative audience. It is a 2 hour solo with a balanced mix of traditional choreography and new items. The student performs to a live orchestra consisting of the finest musicians from Orissa and the Washington area. Nrityalaya has 24 graduates currently.