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The Odissi (Orissi) dance is the Indian classical dance from the Eastern state of Odissa. Classical dance in India evolved as a spiritual expression of devotion to the Higher Being. Odissi, a graceful classical dance form was therefore nurtured in the famous shrines at Orissa. A large number of dancing girls known as Maharis were attached to these famous shrines to form the morning and evening rituals of the deities. Its tradition was thus maintained through generations of these devoted temple-dancers.
Odissi dance is distinguished and differentiated from other schools of dancing by its elaborate grace and charm. The characteristic features of Odissi are it its deflection of the hip, the stances like Chauka and Tribhanga ( three â€“body- bend) arch wise designs of hand movement and rounded liquid body movement . It is full of sculpturesque poses known as Bhangis.
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