ODISSI REPERTOIRE

The traditional Odissi repertoire sequence starts with an invocation called Mangalacharana. The next sequential step in an Odissi performance is Batu, also known as Battu Nrutya or Sthayee Nrutya or Batuka Bhairava. It is a fast pace, a pure dance performed in the honour of Shiva. This pure dance sequence in Odissi builds up to a Pallavi which is often slow, graceful & lyrical movements of the eyes, neck, torso & feet & slowly builds in a crescendo to climax in a fast tempo at the end. The dance follows next and consists of Abhinaya or an expressional dance which is an enactment of a song or poetry. A distinctive part of the Odissi tradition is the inclusion of Mokshya finale in the performance sequence. 

  • Mangalacharan: This is a particular style of dance where permission is sought from the Gods. This is performed in three sections: Bhumi pranam (Regards to earth), Vandana (Prayer), Sabhapranam (Regards to Gods, Gurus, Audience). A shloka in praise of a God or Goddess is sung, such as to Jagannath (an avatar of Vishnu), the meaning of which is expressed through dance.

  • Battu/Sthayee:  This is also known as Sthayee Nritya. It opines that Lord Shiva is the establisher of dance. It is made up of a series of sculpturesque poses representing the playing of vina, Flute, Manjira, and drum. It is a fast pace, pure dance (nritta) performed in the honour of Shiva. No song or recitation is accompanying this part of the dance, just rhythmic music.

  • Pallavi:  Pallavi means to elaborate, prepared by tilting in different Raagas of Odissi. It is started from a slow rhythm and gradually increases & ends in a fast rhythm. It is often slow, graceful & lyrical movements of the eyes, neck, torso & feet & slowly builds in a crescendo to climax in a fast tempo at the end. 

  • Abhinaya:  The dance which is performed in its gestures, singing songs with its expressions of meaning & emotions is called Abhinaya. In this dance, the dancer can make the audience laugh & cry. Her feelings are expressed according to the meanings of each word through Mudra(Posture).

  • Mokshya: Mokshya is a release from worldly bonds & is interpreted as one of the four aims of life, i.e. Religion, Property, Inclination, Salvation. The aim & object of salvation is to be merged with the supreme soul. The Mokshya is a pure climatic dance of Odissi, aiming to highlight the liberation of soul and serenity in the spiritual.

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