Author: A Compilation
Publisher: Centre for Cultural Resources and Training
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/a
This package of 24 color illustrations on art paper with a book on Odissi, one of the many forms of Indian classical dance. Sensuous and lyrical, Odissi is a dance of love and passion touching on the divine and the human, the sublime and the mundane.
Orissa, on the eastern sea coast, is the home of Odissi, one of the many forms of Indian classical dance. Sensuous and lyrical, Odissi is a dance of love and passion touching on the divine and the human, the sublime and the mundane. The ‘Natya Shastra’ mentions many regional varieties, such as the South-Eastern style known as the ‘Odhra Magadha’ which can be identified as the earliest precursor of present day Odissi.
Archaeological evidence of this dance form sating back to the 2nd century BC is found in the caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri near Bhubaneshwar. Later, innumerable examples of the Buddhist sculptures, the tantric images of dancing Yoginis, the Nataraja, and other celestial musicians and dancers of early Shaivite temples bear testimony to a continuing tradition of dance from the 2nd century BC to the 10th century AD.
Odissi is a highly stylized dance and to some extent is based on the classical ‘Natya shastra’ and the ‘Abhinaya Darpana’. In fact, it has derived great deal from the ‘Abhinaya Darpana Prakasha’ by Jadunatha Sinha, the ‘bhinaya Chandrika’ by Maheshwara Mahapatra.
Odissi closely follows the tenets laid down by the ‘Natya Shastra’. Facial expressions, hand gestures and body movements are used to suggest a certain feeling, an emotion or one of the nine ‘rasas’.
In Odissi dance, rhythmic accompaniment has traditionally been provided by the horizontal 'drum', the 'Pakhawaj'. An Odissi orchestra essentially consists of a Pakhawaj player, a singer, a flautist, a sitar or violin player and a manjira player. The dancer is adorned in elaborate Oriya silver jewellery and a special hair-do. The sari, usually stitched nowadays, is unique to the style.
In each performance, even a modern Odissi dancer still reaffirms the faith of the devadasis or maharis where they sought liberation or moksha through the medium of dance.