Traditional Odissi Dance Form of State of Orissa (Odisha), India – Odissi
What is Odissi? Odissi is considered to be the oldest traditional dance form of India. It has its origins in the state of Orissa, Odisha, India.
Origin of Odissi
It is believed that the Odissi was first performed at temples by Devadasis, also known as Maharis. These devadasis or temple dancers were beautiful, graceful and very talented in the fields of dance and music.
Their dance was a religious offering to Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, Lord Krishna.
The Theme of Odissi Dance
Odissi is primarily based on the devotion to Orissa’s most loved deity, Lord Jagannath.
The essence of Odissi is the verses of Geet Govind, a well know Sanskrit play that depicts the beautiful devotion and love for Lord Krishna.
Dancers use body movements, mudras, and expressions to depict various forms of passion and emotion. Odissi dance is a beautiful combination of pure dance, acting, and expressions. It is soft and lyrical in nature.
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The most distinguishing factor of the Odissi dance is its curvaceous nature. Under this classical dance form, the concept of the “Tribhangi” or 3 parts comes into play.
What this means is that the dancer’s body is divided into three main parts, namely the Head, the Bust and the Torso.
In order to perform the mudras and bring out the expressions and moods, the Odissi dancer uses the Tribhanga or the 3 body parts, usually in a slow, soft and flowing movement.
Usually, the postures pose, and movements of the Odissi are quite unique in their complexity. The dancer must maintain the twists of the tribhanga while performing the dance movements.
The similarity of Odissi Dance with Bharatanatyam Dance
There are quite a few similarities between the Odissi and the Bharatanatyam Dance form such as the moods, expressions, temple dance elements, and mudras.
Owing to their similarity, many dancers gain excellence in both these dance forms. However, when they perform either of the dances, they excel in expressing the nuances of each individual dance form without any mixup.
Odissi Dance Costumes
Just like all other classical dances of India, the Odissi dance also has its own specific dance costume. An Odissi dancer looks best when dressed in the traditional Odissi dance costume, along with the necessary ornaments.
Odissi dancers are seen wearing an array of colourful costumes which are stitched to perfection and included the blouse, pyjama and the angrakha.
The costume reminds us of the beautiful, traditional prints which are specific to the state of Orissa.
Traditional Silver jewellery is an essential part of the Odissi dancer’s look. Items include jewellery for the head, ear, neck, hands, fingers, waist ornaments, etc. Flowers in the bun and ghungroos on the feet are just as important.
Famous Odissi Dancers
Some of the well-known masters of Odissi Dance include
Guru Deba Prasad Das
Guru Raghu Dutta, etc.
Are you an Odissi Dancer? To add greater value to this page, we invite you to contribute your picture in your traditional Odissi costume for inclusion on this webpage. We’ll surely add your name under the picture as a token of thanks. Email us at [email protected]
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