Odissi- a classical dance form of Eastern India

jayababy By jayababy, 1st Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2woe8d0a/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Art>History

Odissi is the oldest dance form of India. It originates from the state of Odisha and Natya Shastra (the classic treatise of Indian dance) refers to it as Odra-Magadhi.

Origin & History

‘Odissi’ literally means ‘of Orissa’, is one of the eight classical dance forms of India.
Odissi evolved from two ancient dance forms—Mahari and Gotipura. Maharis were courtesans who danced in temples, mainly that of Lord Jagannath in Puri. Gotipura, a popular dance in the villages was mostly performed by boys. Maharis danced before the idol to the accompaniment of mantras. They evolved to dancing to vocal music when Jayadeva composed his famous Geeta Govinda, celebrating the life and times of Lord Krishna. This dance form, evolved thus, gave rise to emotive expressions or abhinaya, an integral part of present-day ODISSI.

The independent movement of pelvis, chest and head (Tribhangi)and the basic square stance (Chauka) in Odissi, is particularly distinguished from other Indian classical dance forms.

Carvings found in Manchapuri cave in Udayagiri reveal the first clear picture of Odissi dance. The carving depicts King Kharavela, flanked by two queens, was watching a dance recital, performed by a damsel, in front of the court. Even though, Odissi first originated as court dance, later spread to temples as religious offering.

During the time of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the seventh century saint, Odissi came out of the confines of temples. Ray Ramananda, a contemporary dramatist, taught Gotipura to boys and was able to convince Chaitanya that dance and music in praise of the God were also forms of worship that can be practiced outside the temples.

Costumes & Jewelry:

The unique jewelry, meant for Odissi dancers is a highly skilled art, traditionally done by local artisans. The intricate filigree silver jewelry pieces are an important part of Odissi dancer’s costume. The term filigree in French means ‘thin wire’ and is called as Tarakasi in Odisha.

The list of jewelry pieces meant for Odissi dancers includes-
Tikka-forehead ornament
Allaka-head piece on which the tikka hangs
Ear covers- in intricate shapes depicting a peacock’s feathers
Jimkis-bell shaped earrings hanging from them
two necklaces- a smaller necklace worn close to the neck, a longer necklace with a hanging pendant
Head Piece- the crown or Mahcoot, is made only in the devotional city of Puri. The story of making Mahcoot is unique and very interesting to know. It is made from the dried reed which is carved like a stem with a series of cuts and forms of various flowers. A string is tied in the middle of the rod in such a way when the string tightens, flowers bloom into -champa, jasmine, kadamba and many more. Champa flower is one of the Lord Krishna’s arrows and Kadamba is a flower under which Radha waited for Lord Krishna, her beloved.

Odissi dancers usually wear Sambalpuri sarees with bright shades of red, green, yellow, orange and purple. The saree is traditionally draped around the body in a unique fashion unlike in other Indian classical dance forms.

Gurus Kelucharan Mohapatra, Pankaj Charan Das, Debaprada Das are the three veterans revered for their dedication and life-long contribution to Odissi.

Odissi by pop singers:


The legendary dancer-pop singer, Michael Jackson performed some Odissi too, in his music video of Black or White (a short Odissi dance scene for 23 seconds).

Madonna along with Odissi dancers performed Odissi during 1998 MTV Award ceremony.

Tags

Classical, Dancers, Dances, Flowers, India, Lord Krishna, Odisha, Odissi, Sambalpur, Temples

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author avatar jayababy
I love reading and writing. I like to meet good friends on Wikinut, to read their works.

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Comments

author avatar Buzz
1st Sep 2011 (#)

Can I have my first dance with you, jayababy? Wonderful page.

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
1st Sep 2011 (#)

Great presentation.

Odissi dance is the tributary permanence celebrating the highly sensual and devotional renderings by Jayadeva.

Astapadi is also a favorite in Bharatanatyam style of classical dances in India.

I admire the elegance of short abhinaya movements in the Odissi dance.

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author avatar Retired
1st Sep 2011 (#)

I love these dance forms and enjoyed this aritcle-so full of insightful information.

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author avatar Retired
1st Sep 2011 (#)

I love these dance forms and enjoyed this aritcle-so full of insightful information.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
1st Sep 2011 (#)

Wonderful:0)...thanks jayababy!

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author avatar Neha Dwivedi
2nd Sep 2011 (#)

Odissi indeed is a beautiful dance form ...thanks a lot for sharing such wonderful page Jaya!

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author avatar juny
2nd Sep 2011 (#)

I am sure this is really a great culture dance that relives the past and ancient tradition.

Thanks for sharing this information.. :)

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author avatar Retired
2nd Sep 2011 (#)

Very well done and informative--good pics too- :)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
2nd Sep 2011 (#)

Oh - I'd love to learn how to do this dance. I saw Legong dancers in Bali - and this seems a little similar. But my, you need exceptional balance to do it.

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author avatar Maria Malone
3rd Sep 2011 (#)

Jaya, interesting write up, well done!

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author avatar Retired
3rd Sep 2011 (#)

Interesting...love to learn new dances...thanks for sharing....

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