my body, a temple
this dance, a prayer
in stillness, a silent reunion with You.
The Odissi Dances originate from Eastern part of India, Orissa. It is one of the
eight classical dance forms of India and the oldest surviving dance form on the
basis of archeological evidences. The classic treatise of Indian dance, Natya Shastra,
refers to it as Odra – Magadhi. 1st century BCE bas – releifs in the
hills of Udaygiri, Bhubaneshwar, testify to its antiquity.
More than 2000 years old, these dances have a long yet broken history. Odissi dances
were held in high esteem until the 17th C., and patronized by nobilities and royal
families. It almost went into extinction during the colonial rule (British Raj)
with their Anti –Nautch status, but after India gaining its independence,
a movement towards the reconstruction of these dances started, once again placing
classical dance forms onto an important and prestigious platform of Indian Cultural
The process of reconstruction of the Odissi Dance work involved the careful study
of ancient books and scriptures and a close examination of dance posses represented
in bas-relief in the various temples of Orissa.
Odissi dancesare intricate and feminine temple dances originating from the sacred
temples of Konark and Bhubaneshwar.It is particularly distinguished from other classical
Indian dance forms by the importance it places upon the tribhangi(3 part break,
the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis) and upon the basic square stance
known as chauka. The themes of classical Odissi dances are devotion to Lord Jagganath,
relating stories of Krishna, references from the GeetGovinda and Shiva’s Tandava.
This classical dance form of Orissa holds delicate beauty and the celebration of
essential feminine grace. These dances are a reverence to the Gods and Goddesses
of Indian Mythology.
© 2016 Realms of Dance
All rights Reserved