Odissi is one of the eight classical dance styles of India.
Odissi originates from the state of Odisha, in eastern India. According to archaeological material, odissi is the oldest temple dance in India dating back to the second century BC.
In the temples of Odisha, especially in the Sun Temple of Kornark, all the dance poses can be seen in the sculptures. When danced odissi, one can say that the sculptures of the temple come alive.
Position of the body
Odissi is a lyrical dance characterized by the basic positions chouwk or square and the tribhangi, which is characterized by three curves in the position of the body. Mudras or hand positions are an important feature in odissi, because with murdras the dancer can express e.g. stories. Unique in odissi is the torso movement that does not occur in any other Indian classical dance style.
Freedom of art
During the various alien dominations (Mughal & British empire), it was forbidden for girls and women to dance. Freedom of art was forbidden. In order to maintain the dance, boys started performing the dance. These boys had been called gotipua. Thanks to these gotipuas, odissi has not been lost. Guru Mayadhar Raut and guru Kelucharan Mohapatra had been a gotipua. Together with three other gurus they have revived odissi after the alien dominations of the past century.
Unique in odissi is that de dancer wears silver juwellery . The silver work, filigree, comes from Cuttack a district in Odisha. Graceful movements and rhythmic footwork make odissi a unique dance. Odissi ensures that body and mind stay in balance and harmony with each other.
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Mind & Body flow
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