Odissi – ओडिसी | Indian Dance and Music

Odissi - ओडिसी | Indian Dance and Music

Indian Dance and Music | Odissi – ओडिसी :

Odissi is a continued tradition of ancient ‘Odra Natya’, a music – synchronised dance that existed 2000 years ago. Its history is linked with the culture of Devadasis (dancing girls) attached to temple traditions of Orissa. When entire India was following the practice of Devadasis i.e. consecrating dancing girls in honour of Gods, Orissa remained not in exception. Odissi -ओडिसी | Indian Dance and Music

ओडिसी नृत्य ओडिसी नृत्य को पुरातात्विक साक्ष्‍यों के आधार पर सबसे पुराने जीवित शास्त्रीय नृत्य रूपों में से एक माना जाता है। ओडिसी नृत्‍य का उल्‍लेख शिला लेखों में मिलता है, इसे ब्रह्मेश्‍वर मंदिर के शिला लेखों में दर्शाया गया है साथ ही कोणार्क के सूर्य मंदिर के केन्‍द्रीय कक्ष में इसका उल्‍लेख मिलता है।

Also read: Bharatnatyam – भरतनाट्यम | Indian Dance and Music

It started with the Shiv temples in Bhubaneswar as is known from the inscriptions of the Megheswar Temple (1045 – 1190 AD). Following the tradition were ‘Maharis’ attached to the Jagannath Temple at Puri by the Ganga rulers during early 12th cent. AD. Chodaganga Deva, a great patron of Art and music appointed a number of Devadasis for the ritual – services of the Lord. In 1435 AD Kapilendra Deva the ruler of Solar Dynasty regulated the services of the dancing girls and Prataprudra Deva as known from an inscription of July 1499 AD regulated the performance of dancing stating that the dancing girls were to dance and sing only from the Geeta-Govinda at the time of food-offering (Bhoga) in the Jagannath Temple. Odissi -ओडिसी | Indian Dance and Music

Ramananda Ray, the Vaishnavite minister of Prataprudra Deva being a master in dance, drama, music and poetry was to impart regular training on dance and drama to the Devadasis of the Jagannath temple. Dancing, though then was an art of honour was not confined to the Devadasis alone; even the princesses as evident from the commemorative inscriptions of the Ananta Basudeva Temple (1278 AD) at Bhubaneswar were admitted to dancing.

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This tradition had a setback due to political turmoil in Orissa during the end part of 16th cent. AD for a period of 300 years till the discovery of ‘Abhinaya Chandrika’ the code of Odissi Dance written in 15th Cent. AD was discovered by Sri Maheswar Mohapatra. During this period Devadasi tradition ceased to be respected and dances of ‘Gotipua’ and ‘Sakhipila’ (boys dressed as girls) came in its place to cater the fun loving public.

Odissi is religious based and devotional in character. It embraces both Nrittya (pure dance) and “Nrutya” i.e. the interpretative dance. The theme is based on religion and mythology and the urge is equally spiritual and aesthetic. The dance suffused in spiritual fervour to which the tune is set. Odissi -ओडिसी | Indian Dance and Music

Odissi is a five piece dance opens with “Mangalacharan” and ends on “Mokshya” having “Batu Nrutya”, “Pallavi” and “Abhinaya” is between in order. “Mangalacharan” is an invocatory dance followed by singing a sloka is honour of Lord Ganapati or Jagannath.  “Batu Nrutya” is a pure dance to the rhythms of the “Tals” in poses copied from rich Orissan sculptures. The most graceful item of the dance is “Pallavi” usually set to a particular “Raga” to evoke lyrical and sensuous effects. “Abhinaya” follows “Pallavi” where the dancer acts to a song either in Oriya or Sanskrit on the eternal love episode of Radha and Krishna. Popular are the pieces from Geeta Govinda or Dasavatar.

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Set to the slow tempo, a dancer successfully depicts the emotion by gesture, glances and agile movements of the parts of the body to entrap the audience. “Mokshya” is a contrast to “Abhinaya” which is danced in first tempo. Speed, intricate rhythm and acting of the dance carries the dancer to the ultimate end. Romantic songs on various “Ragas”, rhythm, steps to intricate “Tals” and numerous elegant poses drawn from temple sculptures of Orissa, all are choreographed to a highly stylised dance i.e. Odissi. The poses known as “Bhangis” are based on the “Tribhanga” or three-bend concept of Hindu iconography. The approved bends of the body normally takes place at legs, waist and head inclined to a side. In the pure form, body line and manner of performance gets priority in the dance to make it distinct. Odissi -ओडिसी | Indian Dance and Music

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