Odissi did exist as a distinctive
style of dance about 2,000 years ago when Natyashastra,
one of the ancient Indian treatises on dance and dramaturgy, was written.
Aesthetic sensuousness, flowing movements and rare lyrical grace within a
classical framework have won for odissi dance an ever
increasing clientele during last three decades.
Odissi-What, Why & How...
traces the origin and
development of Odissi dance with a special emphasis
on the renaissance years of odissi, the period which
saw the efflorescence of Odissi as it came to be
recognised as a prominent classical dance of India.
The book also throws light on the technical aspects
of Odissi, based on Natyashastra.
Darpana and Abhinaya Chandrika. Detailed chapter have been devoted to Navarasas, Various Moods of Nayika,
feet positions and more. A special section is dedicated to Aharya
(adornments) and Vachika (Musical accompaniment of
The book aims to be a source of joy for Odissi dancers and connoisseurs alike.
Madhumita Raut is the torchbearer of her
illustrious father Guru Mayadhar Raut’s
dance legacy. Guru Mayadhar Raut
is the pioneering spirit who revived Odissi with Shastra-based knowledge A dynamic
dancer, dedicated Guru and a scholar of repute, Madhumita
Raut has taught and performed Odissi
in more than 28 countries. She lives and works in New Delhi, where she runs Jayantika Association’s Mayadhar
Raut School of Odissi Dance.
Perseverance, continuous efforts and an uncompromising commitment to her art
makes her today an artist to reckon with.
Whenever we talk of dance, our mind immediately
flashes on the image of Lord Shiva in his dancing posture. Whatever information
we have today, it is only from the sculptures and scriptures. From these we
trace its origin and the history.
If we have any
thing to prove about the form of dance centuries ago, it is the dancing
sculptures in the temples which will give us a glimpses of the past, as well as
prove its existence and various postures, From the Vedic times music and dance
have been practised and were a part of various religious purposes, festive
occasions and so no.
In music unlike dance, we have
nothing to prove how it existed and in what form, excepting the Vedic hymns
which is even practiced today. But in case of dance the various forms have a
lively testimony in the form of temple sculptures, as to how they existed
thousand years ago.
In her maiden venture Madhumita in her book "Odissi
- What, Why & How
... " has
to present the history and its gradual development of this classical dance form
known as Odissi, in fifteen chapters. Madhumita Raut has earned a name
in the field of Odissi as one of the leading
exponents of this poetic form and learnt the art from her illustrious father
and Guru, Shri Mayadhar Raut,
one of the oldest living legends of this Classical form. She has not only
earned a name as a performer of high merit but also has studied from the
theoretical point of view and this book is the culmination of her extensive
Due to her educational background she has presented
the scholastic history of Odissi dancing from the
earliest days. This dance form was not widely known before independence of
India. Those who contributed in making it popular by their performances and
also by training a number of brilliant students to popularise and propagate
this celestial form, Shri Mayadhar Raut's name is one of them, who has trained more than
thousands of performing students.
It is no wonder that Madhumita,
a worthy student of a worthy Guru has carried on this tradition and presented
the history, technique, Abhinaya, Nayika
and Nayakabheda in a most detailed and simplified
manner in this book.
I am sure that this book will be a guide for the
discerning scholars and students of Odissi. It is
quite gratifying to note that the book is written in such a lucid manner that a
common man will be interested to read and know more from the content and from
the pictorial illustrations.
Dance is a form of Yoga for me. It is a passionate
activity with a supreme spiritual goal of uniting with the inner self, the
Power within or the God Almighty.
I started dancing when I was barely three, soon
after that my formal training in Odissi began. My
years of upbringing were totally imbued with the colours of classical music and
dance. Evenings for me meant watching performances of great dancers and
listening to great maestros of music. Endless inspiring moments were spent in
the company of learned artists. This, along with my father's training and my
mother's disciplined guidance, nudged me to delve deeper into the world of Odissi. I am still a student, studying the intricacies of
Odissi under my father.
I share with my readers whatever little I have
imbibed in the form of this book. It is a study of odissi
that aims to be a source of joy to odissi students
and connoisseurs alike.
For a few years I travelled widely in Europe, living
out of a suitcase, hopping in and out of airports. That gave me an opportunity
to showcase my dance all over the world. Then came the period when I taught
extensively in Holland and Germany. Everywhere the students urged me to give
them 'notes' in the form of a book. Writing a book meant' nurturing my own
roots. Not only did I spend wonderful moments in Delhi with my parents but I
also visited my birthplace-the beautiful Orissa, with temples and more temples
everywhere. I fell in love with Orissa, the home of lord Jagannath.
Writing this book has been a real homecoming for me and I intend to keep it
I decided to go ahead with this book because my
exploration in Odissi brought me close to the
dynamics of life and I had an urge to share what I discovered. A beautiful and
exquisite dance from like Odissi had to travel-travel
far and wide, travel into our hearts, our minds, our beings and every nook and
corner of the world.
What is Odissi? An ancient
dance form of Orissa infused with Bhakti Rasa. What is Odissi?
A graceful dancing sculpture coming to life, moving
sensuously on an ethereal plane, powerfully intoxicating the spectator and the
dancer alike, into a meditative world of Bhakti Shringar
Rasa, where only the Gods reside.
Scriptures Say ...
Lord Of Dance
Sculptures ......... The Temples
Glorious Age of The Gangas
Renaissance Years of Odissi ...
Odissi Dance - The Technique
Odissi ... More Technique
N ayikabheda and N ayakabheda
To You ... Being a Guru's daughter
North Indian Music (292)
Original Texts (63)
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