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Odissi

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Odissi is considered to be one of the oldest surviving dance forms based on archaeological evidences.This traditional dance was performed in the temples of Orissa as a religious rite and offering by the temple dancers known as Maharis. It finds a mention in the inscriptions, depicted on sculptures, in temples like the Brahmeswara and the dancing hall of the Sun Temple at Konark. It is with the help of these and the text of the Abhinaya Chandrika that Odissi was revived and revitalised in the 1950s in India. In its use of the basic movements of the head, hands and body, the style is very similar to Bharatanatyam.

Odissi is a soft, lyrical classical dance which depicts the ambience of Orissa and the philosophy of its most popular deity, Lord Jagannath. It is based on the popular devotion to Lord Krishna and the verses of the Sanskrit play Geet Govinda are used to depict the love and devotion to God.

A typical performance includes the Mangalacharan (elaborate prayer routine) and ends with Moksha, or the surrender of the dancer to the divine. Odissi presents a fine synthesis of Lasya (femininity) and Tandava (masculinity) aspects of the Indian Classical Dance. The dancer very efficiently changes from one to the other according to the need of the expressional number, rhythmic syllables and abhinaya. The dance numbers are either in Sanskrit or Oriya and the music is a combination of Hindustani and Carnatic classical styles.

Famous Exponents: Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, the late Sanjukta Panigrahi, Sangeeta Dash, Priyambata Mohanty, Kiran Sehgal, late Protima Bedi, Musiri Subramani Iyer, Aluka Kanungo, Surupa Sen, Bijoyini Satpathy and various others like Sonal Mansingh, Indrani Rehman and Malavika Sarukhai, who practise more than one style of dance.


||Introduction||  ||Classical dances|| Folk/Tribal Dances| |Great Dancers & Choreographers|| 
|Bharathanatyam||Kathak||Kathakali||Kuchipudi||Manipuri|

 


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