Rasas 2020: Odissi
One of India’s leading classical dance forms, Odissi originated in the Hindu temples of Odisha, an Eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal. Like most other classical dance forms of India, Odissi can trace its roots back to the ancient Sanskrit dramatic treatise, the Natyashastra. The themes in Odissi are almost exclusively religious in nature and usually revolve around the Hindu god Krishna. A performance begins with a Mangalacharan, an invocatory offering, followed by pieces that showcase both the technical virtuosity (Nritta) as well as the expressive qualities (Abhinaya) of the dancer.
One of the most distinct characteristics of Odissi, which will be elaborated on in this performance, is the beautiful interplay of vigour (Tandava) and grace (Lasya) – two contrasting elements that are not only present in the entire cosmos but also in each of us. The interplay between Tandava and Lasya creates a balance in form and technique. The two complement each other by alternating between dominant and passive forms.
Discover the rich culture of Asia’s traditional dances with Rasas. This edition is special as we work with artists from Singapore as well as Singapore-based Southeast Asian communities. Journey to royal courts and ancient temples to unearth the stories, myths and legends that are inseparably linked to the performing arts of this region.