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Indian States

Orissa

Odissi Dance:-Odissi Dance
Odissi, is the traditional dance form of Orissa and owes its origin to the temple dances of the devadasis (temple dancers). Odissi is marked by its sensuousness and lyricism, with movements that reflect the divine sculptural motifs of the temples of Orissa.The history of Odissi dates back to somewhere between the 8th and the 11th century, when the kings took great pride in excelling in the arts of dance and music. It is during these centuries that inscriptions referring to "Devdasis", the women who were conseciated to the worship of the deity, were carved at the Brahmeshwar temple. "Devdasis" apparently played an important part in the temple ritual. Odissi is the oldest surviving dance form in India and perhaps the world. Odissi has been mentioned in inscriptions, depicted on scultures, in temples like the Brahmeswara and the dancing hall of the Sun Temple at Konark. In 1950s, the entire dance form was revitalised thanks to the Abhinaya Chandrika and sculpted dance poses found in temples.

While the form is curvaceous, concentrating on the tribhang or the division of the body into three parts, head, bust and torso; the mudras and the expressions are similar to those of Bharatnatyam. Odissi performances are replete with lores of the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, Lord Krishna. It is a soft, lyrical classical dance which depicts the ambience of Orissa and the philosophy of its most popular deity, Lord Jagannath. Odissi 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. The Odissi dancers use their head, bust and torso in soft flowing movements to express specific moods and emotions.

Odissi is a dance of love and passion, in an everlasting synthesis of divinity and humanity. Its sculpturesque quality is breathtaking, while its intricate, quick rhythmic patterns of footwork, along with the pulsating energy, the force and lightning -like speed of feet and body movements are a sheer pleasure to experience.

The most important elements in the Odissi Nrita are the Bhangis (stylised poses) and Karanas (Yoga based body positions). A striking feature of the Odissi dance is that it has found extensive representation in the ornamental temple structure of Orissa. It is the most expressive and lyrical of all classical dance.

In the pure and decorative items of Odissi where there is no meaning to convey, importance is given to the basic stance 'Chauka' in which the feet are positioned to form a square position. In some items sharp and measured movement predominate whereas in others movements are swift and lyrical. All these combine to build up the consummate artistry, the elaborate grace and charm which remain the fundamental charcteristic of Odissi.


 
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