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Odissi Aka Odissi – Indian Classical Dance from Odhisha

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About Odissi Dance

The Odissi or Orissi dance is a very well-known and eminent Indian classical dance from Odisha. It originated in the Hindu temples of Odisha, East India.

It finds its traces from the ancient Natya Shastra. Many temples of the Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains have sculptures of the Odissi dance postures engraved on them.

The body movements, gestures, and expressions of this form of art are simply impressive and eye candy to exhibit. It is mainly themed on the devotional poems, religious stories and spiritual ideas on which the dancers enact their movements.


This dance form mainly started during the 11th and 8th centuries. During that time, the rulers were quite proud of their excellence in the cultural fields of music and dance.

The Devadasis performed the Odissi dance in the temples during those times. It is said that this performance replicates one of the incarnations of Lord Krishna.

The Odissi dance form attained great esteem during the 17th century owing to the support of the nobles and rulers during that time. To date, it is considered one of the most graceful forms of art in India.


Traditional sarees like Sambalpuri silk and Bomkai silks of bright colours are the main outfit of the female performers.

The front part of the saree is pleated neatly and stitched so that the excellent footwork of the dancers while the performance is clearly visible. They wear silver traditional jewelleries to adorn their ears, arms, neck, wrists and head.

The graceful attire of the ladies makes the dance much more gorgeous. Male dancers generally wear dhoti and a belt to adorn their waists. The upper part of the body is bare.

Music And Instruments:

Beautiful ragas have incorporation in the dance performance which makes it quite unique. Some of the main ragas of the dance are Karnata, Dhanashri, Bhairavee, Panchama, etc.

Pakhawaj, table, harmonium, flute, sitar, cymbals, violin and swarmandal are some of the instruments that are played in the performance.


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