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.
of Odissi Dance It
is believed that the Odissi dance was first performed at temples
by Devadasis, also known as Maharis. These devadasis or tempe
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.
of Odissi Dance
Odissi dances are primarily based on the devotion to Orissa's
most loved diety, Lord Jagannath. The essence of Odissi dance
form are 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.
Dance Techniques 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, poses and movements of the Odissi dance are
quite unique in their complexity. The dancer must maintain
the twists of the tribhanga while performing the dance movements.
of Odissi Dance with Bharatanatyam Dance
are quite a few similiarities between the Odissi dance and
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.
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.
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.
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.