Odissi is the classical dance form which originated in Orissa, an Eastern state in India. Odissi dance, which finds mention in the Natyasastra as the ancient “Udra Nrutya”, is a distinctive dance style of the eastern state of Orissa in India. Derived from the Jagannath temple related traditions of the Mahari (Devdasi) and the Gotipua (Boy dancers), Odisssi is an important identity of Indian classical dance and is noted for its sensual “lasya” element. Like Bharatnatyam, this classical dance is also centuries old. This enchanting classical dance form of Orissa traces its origin to the temple dances of the Devdasis (temple dancers). This classical dance diligently portrays the aesthetic charm of Natya (dramatic representation) and the brilliance of Nritta (pure dance). The feature that makes this dance form unique from other classical dances of India is Tribhangi. This is the posture the dancer attains when the body bends in three parts head, bust and torso. The theme of Odissi revolves around the divine tales of Radha and Krishna. Most of the Odissi recital consists of Ashtapadi from Jayadevas Geeta Govinda, which is replete with elements of love and devotion. Odissi which serves as the ideal medium for their expression is truly a soft, lyrical, classical dance. It was only in this century that the dance got a fresh infusion of life at the hands of three stalwarts who have dedicated their entire lives to the arduous task of reviving Odissi. They were Guru Pankaj Charan Das, Guru Debaprasad Das and most universally admired Padmabibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra.
My search for dance and freedom of spirit led me to Odissi. I found in it serenity,strength and a sense of purpose.With each day I starved to learn more.I found my biggest inspiration in the legendary Odissi maestro Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra.I feel blessed to have experienced the splendour of his art and brilliance of his intellect, and am grateful for the grace he has bestowed on me.
His fatherly affectionate and love has made me what I am today.I salute his manifold contributions to this dance as the architect of contemporary Odissi,as performer, teacher choreographer and researcher. I realised that there is something inherent in human nature ,and that the search for the divine.And Odissi is my path of divinity.
Lastly, I Thank my parents and my family for giving me the freedom of choice…..to be an Odissi dancer.