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"Orissa has always been a major hub for all classical, folk and tribal dances of India. Classical Odissi Dance has been the most prominent contribution to the diverse culture of India, watching a live performance of Odissi Dance by a trained artists is magical, no visit to Orissa is complete without witnessing Oddisi Nertya (Dance)."
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Orissa Dances

Odissi Dance
Famous Odissi Dance

Dances of Orissa - Spectacular of All

Images of dancers have been found on the walls of caves in Udayagiri hills that date back to 1st century. This shows that dances have been a part of Orissa since time unknown. Although it is said that the long tradition of dances came close to extinction during the days of Raj. Dances in modern Orissa are more of a modifications of their magnificent past. Orissa has some of the most captivating forms of Dances that have made it big outside the state. The most important contribution to India's culture is definitely Odissi Dance. Odissi dance was once a temple dance performed by devdasis. With time it has revived itself and has made Orissa a famous name in the world of performing arts. The tradition of tribal and folk dance is also quite rich in Orissa. Among folk dances, Chhau is the most famous. The number of dances belonging to tribals is simply astonishing. Be it marriage, birth or harvesting, they have a special and unique dance for each occasion. When talking about the dances of Orissa, Konark Dance Festival needs a special mention. The festival is dedicated to the long tradition of dance. The dance festival is a stage for many eminent performers displaying their mastery in dances like Odissi, Bharatnatyam and Kathak.

Odissi Dance - Magic of Graceful Movements

Oddisi dance is an art full of grace, poise and magic. Every step in Odissi dance is like poetry in motion. Odissi Dance is the traditional dance of Orissa and has its origin in temples. It was seen as a religious rite performed only by devdasis. Many huge and magnificent temples were built in the medieval era in Orissa. And these temples became the center for performing arts. Odissi Dance and its exponents till 17th century were considered a very respected lot. But under the rule of Raj, Odissi Dance along with many other dances of India, were brought to a standstill. The profession of dancing started being considered as a petty affair. This condition continued till Independence. After independence, the revival of the dances was initiated.Odissi dance since then has been taken to great heights by many brilliant performers like Guru Deba Prasad Das and Guru Mayadhar Raut. The dance has also evolved a lot from waht it used to be earlier. Odissi Dance is primarily the encactment of love between Lord Krishna and Radha. The movements of the dance are largely based on the concept of 'Tribhangi' which devides the body in three parts, the head, bust and torso. The magic that is created in the dance owes hugely to 'mudras', that is the movements of hands. Such is the grace and fluency of the moves that one just cannot take his eyes of it for even a moment.

Other Dances Performances

There are many dance forms in Orissa that keep the people of Orissa close this performing arts. Most of them are tribal and folk dances. The main folk dance of the state is the Chhau Dance. The dance is portrays the theme of combat and fighting. Most of the scenes enacted in the dance are taken from Mahabharata and Ramayana. The dance is very quick with fast foot and hand movements. Though the grace of the dance is never compromised and it is an absolute treat to watch the dance performed by its masters. Other Major dances are Naga Dance and Ghumra Dance. Naga dance is peculiar dance and is not accompanied by any song or music.

Orissa was and still is famous for its many classical and folk dances. Earlier the fame of these dances were confined to the state and nearby areas. But now, they are famous even in the far corners of the world. A visit to Orissa is never complete without experiencing a live performance of Odissi Dance. So don't miss the opportunity of witnessing any form of Oriyan dance which are good enough to keep you spellbound for hours.

 



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