History & Characteristics of Odissi Dance

Odissi is a traditional Indian dance. It is one of the seven leading Indian classical dance forms. The figures of this dance (sculpture) go back to the first Century BC A famous example is the temple sculptures at the Surya Temple at Konark.

History of Odissi Dance

Odissi is originally a temple dance, that of the Mahari in the temples of Orissa was dancing. Later this form of dance performance came from the temples to the courts ruling and then "on the streets" to the people, where they were presented by men dressed as women. The present form of the performance of Odissi is the product of the revival of dance in the 20th Century from the study of stone sculptures and writings. The dance is now celebrated by women and men.

Description about Odissi Dance

Odissi Dance
Odissi is characterized by flowing movements, statuesque poses, aesthetic beauty and grace from. The revival as an active dance and its dissemination by newly established dance schools in particular Kelucharan Mohapatra (1926-2004) , the master of modern Odissi. Renowned dancer (without judgment of their importance) are or were: Sanjukta Panigrahi (1944-1997), Kumkum Mohanty, Sonal Mansingh, Protima Bedi (1949-1998), Nandini Ghosal and Sharmila Biswas.

Characteristics of Odissi Dance

The Odissi is a dance that is characterized by the harmony of opposites and fluidity of movement, and can be divided into two types: Nritta, which is composed only of movement, while the Nritya is almost a tale told by movements. In this second aspect of each facial expression and every movement of the eye have a different meaning, communicating so many mythic themes, emotions and moods (bhava).

To learn to Odissi, one must first practice the basic steps of two opposites: the Chowka tribhanga and, in order to have contact with the movements of the torso (bhangi), arms, eyes, head, neck, feet positions, as well as the working rhythm of these (brace).

Chowka in Odissi Dance

The Chowka is the male energy. It is characterized by stiffness in a position which divides the power equally distributed between the two sides.

Tribhanga in Odissi Dance

The tribhanga, in turn, is the female energy. Here, the dancer molds his body like an "S", and performs movements and sinuous, but marked. The two types of movements, and Chowka tribhanga are divided into exercises ranging from 1:00 to 10:00, the first period to one period of time, the second of the two, and so on. Each movement is performed at three speeds, and the music is not divided: it is the dancer that divides the music in the time required to perform the movement.


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