Odissi dance emerged over the last two millennia in complex historical settings in a region of eastern India, presently known as Odisha, where many rulers, religions and aesthetic influences took hold. Renowned for its lyricism, profound beauty and grace, it has been linked to the oldest dance forms practised in India and ritual devotion in temples. Integrated with other art forms such as music, painting and sculpture, odissi as it is practised today is nevertheless based on a heavily reconstructed form that emerged in the mid-twentieth century following Indian Independence in 1947.
This exhibition aims to trace this history and evolution of odissi from its earliest origins to the present day, highlight its unique beauty and complicate the assumptions often made about Indian dance and odissi. A series of performances, demonstrations, art history lectures and activity sessions for children and adults is scheduled to accompany the exhibition. Full details and opening times released shortly.
Presented by 21st Century Education Trust. Design & Curation: Nisha Somasundaram
Part of the Bedford Odissi Dance Festival 2017