Odissi is a classical dance style from the North-East Indian State of Orissa, dating back to the 2nd century BC, making it the oldest dance form in India and perhaps the world. Originally performed in temples as a sacred ritual dedicated to the gods, Odissi is marked by its sensuousness and lyricism, with movements that reflect the divine sculptural motifs of the temples of Orissa.

  Odissi link

Odissi is a dance of love and passion, in an everlasting synthesis of divinity and humanity. Its sculpturesque quality is breathtaking, while its intricate, quick rhythmic patterns of footwork, along with the pulsating energy, the force and lightning -like speed of feet and body movements are a sheer pleasure to experience.

 Orissa State link 

The most important elements in the Odissi Nrita are the Bhangis (stylised poses) and Karanas (Yoga based body positions). A striking feature of the Odissi dance is that it has found extensive representation in the ornamental temple structure of Orissa. It is the most expressive and lyrical of all classical dance.

Another Odissi link.

In the pure and decorative items of Odissi where there is no meaning to convey, importance is given to the basic stance 'Chauka' in which the feet are positioned to form a square position. In some items sharp and measured movement predominate whereas in others movements are swift and lyrical. All these combine to build up the consummate artistry, the elaborate grace and charm which remain the fundamental charcteristic of Odissi.

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