Odissi, the essence of the state of Orissa is the highly inspired,
and sensuous form of dance. Odissi was performed in the temples of Orissa as a religious rite and offering by the Devadasis known
'Maharis'. Odissi is a rich
and generous cultural gift of the land, well known for its dedication to
religion and arts and known in the past as 'Kalinga Desha'. The people of this
land raised magnificent temples, each erected as an act of religious faith and
embellished by the skills of master craftsmen, sculptures and architects.
These temples became the centre of art and culture and it was here that Odissi,
one of India's scintillating dance-forms was born, nurtured and nourished.
In Odissi, the technique, the style, its stages, the repertoire
and the finale were almost amorphous. Today Odissi is a well established
and codified classical dance form of India, a dance of love, delight and intense
passion, lyrical, pure, divine and human all rolled into one.