Dances of India: Odissi

OdissiA dance form born in Orissa, manifested in temple sculptures from 2nd Century BC, practised and enriched by the Devadasis or maharis (as the temple dancing girls are called in Orissa).

With the construction of the Jagannath temple in Puri in the 12th century, the practice of dedicating maharis in the service of the temple was initiated; it continues to this day.

At once sensuous and spiritual, it has the ability to portray erotic sentiments in a deeply reverential manner.

Odissi is a highly stylized dance with tribhanga or three-bend attitude of Hindu sculpture The bhava or feeling is chaste and orthodox, with flashes of heightened dramatisation.

OdissiThe accompanying music is pure and classical, with graces of both the Hindustani and the Carnatic ystems.

The instruments traditionally used are the mandala-drums, gini-small cymbals and the flute.

Odissi has been restored to its rightful place only in the last few decades with tireless work by the Gurus like Pankaj Charan and Deba Prasad Das, Keluchara Mohapatra and Mayadhar Raut; and the dancers.

Classical Dances » Bharatnatyam . Kuchipudi . Mohniattam . Kathkali . Odissi . Manipuri . Kathak . Chhau

Classical Music » Hindustani Classic Vocal Music . Carnatic Vocal Music
Sitar . Sarod . Santoor . Sarangi . Shehnai . Violin . Nagaswaram. Flute . Veena . Ghatam . Tabla