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Asako Takami (Apr 19, 1960 - Nov 3, 2007)

November 11, 2007

"Through dance,
Through your own body,
You can experience God"
- Asako Takami

Asako Takami was a well-known and loved Odissi dancer of Japanese descent who founded Pallavi Dance Group, a small community engaged in learning and sharing Odissi dance in the San Francisco Bay Area. She first saw an Indian dance performance while studying art and Japanese design at Women's College of Fine Arts in Tokyo. Sanjukta Panigrahi's performance so captured her heart that Odissi became her life's profession.

Takami started her training in 1983 with Kumkum Lal who visited Tokyo. In India, she continued her training with Kumkum Lal's guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. For 14 years, she made periodical trips to India for 6 months at a time to hone her skills. In addition she studied Pakawaj with guru Trinath Maharana in Delhi and Sanskrit with Dr. Masayuki Ohnishi.

For three years in the early 1980s, Takami also received basic training in Kathakali and Manipuri dance forms from Mina Kang, a Korean dancer of Indian dance.
Asako dedicated her life to Odissi. She embodied an elegant sensibility with a reverence for this devotional art form but for the last four years, she had been fighting cancer. First it was cervical cancer, and then it was ovarian cancer. She had not been able to dance or teach dance for the last year and a half of her life because the radiation treatments destroyed her right pelvic bone, and she also lost use of her right leg. She was extremely debilitated at this point and was mostly bedridden.

Asako passed away on Saturday, November 3, 2007. She leaves behind her parents and her partner Ralph Lemon, and a community of dancers and dance lovers who will deeply feel her absence.