Mala Desai (left); Bani Ray (right)
Odissi is the classical dance form of Orissa, the picturesque state located in the Eastern part of India. The sculpturesque and frieze dance poses are found in the beautiful temples of Orissa and date back to the second century B.C. Odissi movements are characterized by the "s" shape the body makes in a tribhanga pose. The dance is accompanied by a North Indian style of music, punctuated by the folk-like rhythms of the two-headed drum (pakhawaj). In the 20th century, especially after independence, there began a great interest in the revival of this classical dance, as a result of which Odissi has been exposed to all of India, as well as internationally. Its gracefulness and lyrical beauty have made it tremendously popular not only with students and performers, but with dance connoisseurs and audiences around the world.
Instructors: Mala Desai, Bani Ray