Orissa Dance represents the cultural extravaganza of the East Indian state. Music, dance, poetry and drama forms an integral part of the state’s cultural potpourri and reflects the ethos of the state.
One of the most popular forms of dance that originates in the state of Orissa happens to be the Odissi dance. Odissi, the quintessential classical dance of Orissa is essentially a religious dance. The dance owes its origin to the temples that are peppered all over Orissa. The religious Diaspora of Orissa is renowned all across the Indian subcontinent. The Odissi dance reflects the deep-rooted religious fervor and is a fantastic medley of rhythm, bhangi and mudras that have an inimitable quality of their own. The romance of the dance that is centered on Radha Krishna themes and the graceful movements have placed this peerless this peerless dance into a class of its own.
Another ancient dance form that revolved around the marital exhibitions of the Oriya paikas (warriors) who fought in sync with the rhythm of the indigenous musical and percussion instruments happens to be the Chau dance. Style and form are a vital part of the dance that is based on the fundamentals of the Bharat Muni’s Natya Shastra and Nandikeswara’s Abhinaya Darpana.
The Mahari dance that happens to be a hallmark of the archetypal traditions of Sri Mandira and depicts the holy union of Lord Jagannath and the extraordinary Nari Mahari is another eminent dance of Orissa. The other dances include the folk dances like the Daskarhia and the Jatra Pala.