An Odissi recital begins with MANGLACHARAN, where the dancer offers an invocatory prayer to the deity. Next is the BATTU, a fast paced pure Nritta piece dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Lord of Dance. This is followed by PALLAVI where the dancer matches her foot works to the pakhawaj. Pallavis are based on different ragas of the Indian Classical Music System. Odissi dancers perform the ABHINAYA to Sanskrit or Oriya songs. Abhinaya means to tell a story using facial expressions and hand gestures. Poet Jayadev’s GITA GOVINDA comprising of 24 Ashtapadis tells the eternal love story of Radha and Krishna. This book of poems is the essence of Odissi Abhinaya. The dance recital ends with MOKSHYA, where the dancer strives to attain salvation using NATYA YOGA of dance. The musical instruments accompanying the dancer is the Pakhawaj or 2 headed drum, Bansuri or flute, Tanpura, Violin and Manjira or cymbals.
“There is no other knowledge, no other learning, no other art, not even yoga or action that is not found in dance.”