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Odissi, the classical dance of Orissa

Odissi, one of the classical dance forms of India. Odissi, originated from the eastern Indian state, Orissa. Natya Shastra, the classic treatise Indian dance, refers Odissi as Odra-Magadhi.

Odissi, differs from other classical Indian dance forms by the importance it places upon the tribhangi (literally: three parts break), the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis and upon the basic square stance known as chauka.

The traditional Odissi repertoire consists of Mangalacharan -an invocational piece, Battu Nrutya - a dance piece offered to the Lord of dance - Lord Shiva in his ‘Batuka Bhairava’ form. This piece brings out the essence of Odissi.

The third one Pallavi and is a pure dance item in which a raga is elaborated through eye movements, body postures & intricate footwork. Abhinaya, the fourth is a poem telling a story conveyed to the audience through mudra or hand gestures (the language of Indian classical dance), facial expression and body movement. 

Dashavataar is a dance piece describing the ten incarnations of the Lord Vishnu with verses taken from the Gita Govinda and is the fifth one. Moksha is a pure dance item with only the mardal-pakhawaj (percussion) accompaniment - the dance of liberation and the fine one.

Shown in the video is an Odissi performance by Sujata Mohapatra, a performance based on Gita Govinda.