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Dance

Odissi Dance

The Odissi dance of Odisha (Orissa) is one of the six acknowledged classical dance forms of India. Like all other Indian classical dances, it also has its initiation in religion and philosophy with an origin in the temples of Odisha (Orissa). The rhythm, Bhangis and Mudras used in Odissi dance have a distinct style of its own. The dance is performed mainly with the theme of Infinite love of Lord Krishna and Radha.


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.


The techniques of movement are built around the two basic postures of the Chowkand the Tribhanga. The chowk is a position imitating a square - a very masculine stance with the weight of the body equally balanced. The tribhanga is a very feminine stance where the body is deflected at the neck, torso and the knees.


The torso movement is very important and is an unique feature of the Odissi style. With the lower half of the body remaining static, the torso moves from one side to the other along the axis passing through the centre of the upper half of the body. Great training is required for this control so as to avoid any shoulder or hip movement. There are certain foot positions with flat, toe or heel contact. These are used in a variety of intricate combinations. There are also numerous possibilities of leg movements. Almost all leg movements are spiral or circular, whether in space or on the ground.




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