Odissi is a classical dance of Odisha, an eastern state of India. In the 1950s, like other dance forms, Odissi Dance Form came into the limelight in India as well as in the World. You can see the stone carvings of Odissi mudras formed on the Konark Sun Temple. Odissi dancers claim that Odissi is the oldest of all traditional dances in India. In “Natyasastra,” it is mentioned that Odissi is from the Odra-Magadhi dance in ancient times in Odisha.
Repertoires of Odissi Performance:
There are 4 repertoires of Odissi performances, which are performed sequentially.
- Odissi dancers perform “Mangalacharan” in the very beginning before the performances. They give “Pushpanjali” to the mother earth by offering flowers, and then they perform “Bhumi Pranam.”
- Then, they start performing 4 repertoires one by one. The first one is “Nritta,” which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. They perform a dance form called “Batuka Bhairava.”
- The next one is “Nritya,” which is performed by expressing a story or a poem. They use hand gestures, eye and body movements for expressing the dance.
- The third one is “Natya,” which consists of drama that depicts Hindu mythological stories.
- The last one is “Moksha,” which depicts the feeling of the soul.
Ragas and Musical Instruments in Odissi Dance
Main Ragas of Odissi:
- Shokabaradi, etc.
Musical Instruments are used in Odissi:
- Swarmandal, etc.
Famous Odissi Dancers of all times:
Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra(1926-2004) was a legendary Odissi dancer in the 20th century. Other famous Odissi dancers are:
- Pankaj Charan Das
- Deba Prasad Das
- Raghunath Dutta
- Sanjukta Panigrahi
- Sonal Mansingh, and many more.
Costumes of an Odissi Dancer:
A beautiful costume adores the dancers, both female and male.
For Female Odissi Dancers:
- A bright Sambalpuri or Bomkai Saree
- Separate pleated clothes are meant to be stitched in front of the saree for easy movements of the body.
- Silver jewelleries like “Mukut”, “kamarbandh”, “Necklace”, “Earrings”, etc.
- A “Ghungroo” – anklets
- She must use “Alta” on her feet and palms.
- A “Tikka” on the forehead and “Kajal” in her eyes for eye movement is an important part of Odissi dance.
For Male Odissi Dancers:
- A Dhoti
- A waistband on the dhoti.
Odissi dance is a beautiful dance form, and nowadays, many foreigners are learning Odissi dance forms in Odisha. Today, in many government programs or institutional programs, dancers perform the Odissi at the beginning of the ceremonies.
Also, Read: 10 Amazing Facts about Odisha