A short history

Odissi is one of the seven principal Indian classical dance forms, from the eastern state of Orissa in India. Odissi is the most lyrical dance form of India. A dance that is so evocative it inspired the sculptures of its time. Centuries later, these very sculptures helped to breathe life back into the performances. The thirteenth century Sun Temple of Konark is a brilliant example, where innumerable panels and friezes portray this dance.


In the dancing halls, dancers known as Maharis performed Odissi. By the 17th Century, a class of boys dressed as dancing girls started to perform. These boys were called Gotipuas. The revival of Odissi took place in the 1930's. The Odissi dance recital we see today is an aesthetic combination of the Mahari and the Gotipua style.


The inspiration is drawn from the sculptures, Oriyan manuscripts and pictorial images. Odissi in comparison to the other Indian classical dance styles, is characterized by its fluid torso movements, grace, sculpturesque poses, aesthetic beauty, spirituality, and haunting music. One of the prime contributors to the revival of Odissi has been the Late Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Devjani's own Guru …