Odissi, the classical dance of Orissa, is known for its graceful and sculpturesqe postures. Though Odissi has a tradition of 2000 years, due to its state of near extinction in the colonial period, modern Odissi is viewed as a reconstruction.
The style of Odissi is a conglomeration of aesthetic and technical details. One of the most characteristic features of Odissi is the concept of Thribhang. According to this concept, the body is divided into the head, the bust and the torso. This concept has created the very unique poses that are not found in any other classical dance in India.
The Mudras or gestures also play a prominent role in the rendition of Odissi. The themes of the dances are mostly religious in nature. They revolve around the stories of Lord Krishna. The Geeta Govindam of Poet Jayadeva is another prominent theme.
Pakhawaj, tabla, mridangam, bansuri, manjira and cymbals are the instrumental accompaniments to Odissi. The music belongs to the Hindustani tradition; however, there are arguments that it should be viewed as an independent genre of music.
Performed here is Sujata Mohapatra, an illustrious disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. An acclaimed artiste, Sujata Mohapatra is known for her great insight to this classical dance form.