Odissi Repertoire

In the Odissi style, the Mangalacharan marks the entrance of the dancer onto stage. The dancer invokes the blessing of Lord Jagannath for an auspicious beginning to the performance. Then the dancer offers salutation to the Mother Earth (Bhumi Pranam), the teacher, the accompanists and the audience. It is followed by a prayer to the Almighty. Mangalachanaran essentially invokes the blessings of the revered teacher and the Divinity appropriate to the dancer.


Batu Nritya is a pure dance offering in honour of Lord Batuka Bhairava, one of the 64 aspects of Lord Shiva. This dance item is redolent with sculpturesque poses describing such actions as the playing of the drum, veena, flute and cymbals. Intricate rhythmic patterns are also worked out elaborately in different passages of a continuing refrain, and no song or recitation is allowed in the accompaniment.


Pallavi is also pure dance and implies elaboration; an exposition not only of the dance but also of the music that accompanies it. The graceful and lyrical movement of the dancer's form is supported by intricate rhythm patterns of exceptional beauty. Like the blossoming of a flower, the Pallavi gradually unfolds the particular Raga upon which it is based: thus a beautiful tapestry of rhythm, music and movement is created.


Abhinaya is an expressional in nature, a depiction of a bhava or deep emotion expressed in a song or lyric. In Odissi style this item has been danced to the musical poetry of Jayadeva's immensely lyrical Sanskrit love poem, the Geeta Govinda of the 12th century AD. The Abhinaya item is sometimes danced to the accompaniment of Oriya lyrics composed by the three venerated poets of Odisha – Kavisurya Baladeva Rath, Gopal Krishna Pattnaik , Banamali Das - among others. Set to a slow tempo, the abhinaya provides ample scope to the dancer for delineating an emotion through the expressive artifices of mime –glances, hand gestures, sinuous movements of the body and the myriad uses of facial expression.


Mokshya means salvation , the ultimate release from the human life experience and the blissful integration of the human soul with the Godhood . Paralleling this concept, Mokshya, the final item of the Odissi repertoire, signifies the total surrender of the dancer to God. A pure dance sequence in fast tempo is performed to an accompaniment of a recitation of rhythmic syllables which are played out on the Mardala (the main percussion instrument in Odissi).then follows an invocation to the Goddess Shakti, praying for the universal well-being of mankind and a harmonious co-existence.

Odissi Repertoire