Odissi is one of the eight classical dance forms of India. It originates from the state of Orissa, in eastern India. It is the oldest surviving dance form of India on the basis of archaeological evidences.The classic treatise of Indian dance, Natya Shastra, refers to it as Odra-Magadhi. 1st century BCE bas-reliefs in the hills of Udaygiri (near Bhubaneshwar) testify to its antiquity. It was suppressed under the British Raj, but has been reconstructed since India gained independence. It is particularly distinguished from other classical Indian dance forms by the importance it places upon the Tribhangi (literally: three parts break), the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis and upon the basic square stance known as Chauka or Chouka that symbolizes Lord Jagannath.
Ratna Roy Odissi Performance :
Ratna Roy, Ph.D., started her training in Odissi dance in 1972. One of his seniormost disciples of the guru of gurus, Pankaj Charan das, she has performed extensively as a soloist in India, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, the Baltics, South Africa, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, China, and Japan.She formed her dance company Urvasi in 1975 to train dancers in the guru’s legacy. Today Urvasi is considered to be one of the ten foremost companies in the world. In the US she is well-known for her own choreography based on her dual heritage as an Indian and an American.