NatyaSutraOnline is an attempt to permanently preserve the rich classical dance and music heritage of India. Our dream is to provide 24/7 online access to personalized lectures, tutorials, dance classes, and performances of all Indian classical dance forms.
Odissi is a popular classical dance form of India, that is deeply rooted in the Eastern State of Odisha. Its boldness and rich local heritage represent a part of India that is a massive repository of culture. The dance form combines the metaphysical with the common realm in the blink of an eye, with stories and rituals that pre-date our times.
The Natya Shastra, the original knowledge bank on all Indian performing arts, gives accounts on an older variant of Odissi called Odhra Magadha. The quaint Udayagiri Monastery, located 90 kilometers (56 miles) from the state capital of Bhubaneswar, contains carvings of the dance form. Originally, the art form grew in the temples of the state. Temple dancers or maharis were the first proponents of Odissi, from where it would slowly begin making its way into royal celebrations. Gotipuas, performed by young men who exalted Lord Krishna, was an important precursor to modern-day Odissi. Legendary poet Kabichandra Kalicharan Patnaik and Pandit Chandrasekhar Patnaik helped revitalize Odissi in the post-independence area.
The dancer enters the stage to the Mangalacharan, where the slow movements of the dancer invite us to the beginning of the performance. The flowers are a tribute to Lord Jagannath, and the dancer pays further homage to their teachers, family members, and the audience. Odissi is extremely close to the fundamental teachings of the Natya Shastra. The base stances of chauk and tribhanga represent the dual components of masculine and feminine forces. Each part of the body is involved in a range of movements meant to both entice and communicate with the viewer. Odissi is known for combining the sensual with the divine, in a very relatable and spiritual manner. Odissi is noted for portraying the fables of Vishnu’s eighth incarnation, Lord Krishna, and takes most of its themes from Jayadeva’s ‘Geeta Govinda.’ It is a soft, lyrical classical dance.
Odisha and its cultural impact are gaining a national and global audience at a rising pace. Odissi has played the role of a bridge for the same, with its students and Gurus gaining accolades in many competitions and concerts. It has become the cultural ambassador for a state and area covered with hidden gems and natural treasures.
Sujata Mohapatra gives an overview of Odissi Beginners Lessons. It contains decades of knowledge imparted by her mentor, Padma Vibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra.