CONTENTS:- 1. Historical perspective; 2. The Parampara; 3. The revival; 4. The architects of Odissi Dance - Gurus; 5. Odissi music and texts.
The book is the first one dealing with the historical background, evolution and emergence of Odissi as a classical dance form in India. It traces the development of Odissi from a local ritual of temple dancers (Maharis) in the Jagannath temple and the performance of Gotipuas outside the temple in the 1940's, to the modern day sophisticated internationally acclaimed Odissi dance. The pioneer Odissi dancer Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi has been directly associated with the revival and evolution of Odissi. In this book with the help of her daughter Ahalya, she narrates the meticulous process by which Odissi was reconstructed and established as a self-sufficient dance form in spite of the opposition to its recognition as a classical dance at the national level. The book is a well-researched documentation of the historical background of Odissi and its association with the temple sculptures dating back to 2nd century BC. The establishment of the rich Mahari and Gotipua traditions which has a direct bearing on the development of the dance form, has been dealt with some rare historical documents from the Jagannath temple and other archives. The role of eminent gurus, namely, Singhari Shyamasunder Kar, Durlav Chandra Singh, the trinity of modern-day Odissi-Pankaj Charan Das, Kelucharan Mahapatra and Debaprasad Das; in the establishment and standardization of the dance form is described. The authors have also given a rare insight into the musical and literary tradition starting from Shri Jayadeva in 12th century to the poets of the medieval period, namely, Kabisurya Beladev Ratha, Banamali and Gopalkrushna who contributed to the enrichment of interpretive abhinaya of the dance form. The book has rare photographs depicting the evolution of Odissi costume, jewellery and other accessories through different periods. In addition, the book has some rare documents pertinent to the emergence of Odissi in the national scenario.