Monday, 17 July 2017

Odissi Dance Learning Toolkit - July 2017

Course materials for Odissi Dance education:
- Rohini Dandavate

I began my Odissi dance lessons at the age of 8 in Kala Vikash Kendra in the late 60’s in Cuttack. Though I was born and raised in Odisha, I was not proficient in Odiya language since my parents were immigrants from Mumbai and our mother tongue was Gujarati. Through all the years of dance training in Odisha I longed for reference resources in English to complement my process of learning much like we used text books in our academic pursuit in school.

I had realized then with the rising popularity of Odissi dance it would become necessary to produce multi-media tools and other resources in a comprehensible and user friendly language to help students. This thought took the back burner as I got busy with increasing performance opportunities and pursuit of higher education. However, it was in the year 2012 when I took up the project of producing multi-media learning tools which covered elements of the Odissi technique and started sharing online my notes/essays/papers on issues relating to Odissi dance. With the financial, technological and moral support of my family and the artistic support of leading dancers and musicians, I successfully produced three dvds and one CD. My papers aim to be simple reads on different topics, presenting different perspectives, discussions and notes on issues relating to Odissi dance.
A large number of DVDS/CDS have been purchased by the teachers and students of Odissi around the world in a period of five years through Amazon and Createspace, its sister company. As envisaged the buyers have found it useful in their daily practice. It has been used in some colleges of dance in Ohio as course material for programs of study in Odissi dance. Given below are some reviews from buyers:

• A great video demonstration for all you Odissi dancers out there that might live far from your teacher and classes. Great sound and image quality. The steppings are done to music that is slow enough that you can practice along with. A must have for all dancers! Kisore sherreitton September 2, 2015

• This video is neatly divided up into DVD Chapters. It is easy to navigate to each section using the DVD Menu .In each section the dancer demonstrates each step while someone calls out the name of each step. It goes from step 1 to step 2 to step 3 etc. continuously, so it can also be used to follow along doing the movements as a practice session (or can be used like an encyclopedia to watch)

The video image quality and audio cues are good quality too .Food Fan on February 10, 2013

• This DVD was very well made - from it's organization of the movements to the execution of dance technique. It covers a good spectrum of material to be an excellent practice tool for the beginner as well as the experienced dancer. I highly recommend it. Camille on April 12, 2012

• I love this DVD. Very clearly explained and easy to follow. A very good practice aid for a total beginner or a trained professional. Radica Giri on June 22, 2012

The Kenyon College, The Ohio State University, Denison University, University of Minnesota and other Libraries in the U.S. have included these resources in their dance education reference collection. The intent of producing these tools was to facilitate home practice and not substitute learning from a guru in class. As a practitioner and teacher of Odissi dance, I have always believed that classical art forms need a curriculum with planned lessons and methodical learning approach which include practical lessons in the classroom and regular practice at home. Much like text books are used in schools to complement classroom learning, the objective of these resources is to help students practice at home, in their own pace when away from their Gurus.

I would urge Odissi dance instructors to use these as course materials in the study of Odissi dance. Students can add these to their personal libraries for reference. Availability details of these resources are given below.
Learning Resources available online: On, a sister company of Amazon

1. DVD 1 Fundamentals of Odissi dance
This DVD features demonstration of Bhumi Pranam, head, eyes and neck movements, Asanjukta and Sanjukta hastas, basic Odissi postures, feet positions and footwork in Chowka and Tribhangi.

NTSC version of the DVD is available at
Or PAL version of the DVD is available at 
Price: $35

2. DVD 2 Language of Hand Gestures in Odissi dance
This DVD presents demonstration of Sanjukta and Asanjukta hastas, Viniyogas of Asanjukta hastas, Deva hasta, Dashavatar hasta, Bandhaba hasta, Nritta hasta, and Jati hasta.
NTSC version of the DVD is available at
PAL version of the DVD is available at
Price: $19.99

3. DVD 3 Fundamentals of Odissi Dance
Abhinaya: Technique of Expression
This DVD includes demonstrations and explanations of the primary Bhavas, Rasas and Nayika bhedas as used in Odissi dance.
NTSC format:
PAL format:
Price: $30

4. CD Rhythms in Odissi dance
This CD is an introductory reference resource including definitions and demonstrations of tala patterns as used in Odissi dance and some Odiya terms relating to tala, namely Bani, Ukuta,bol, Laya, Dharana, Chhanda, Jati, Gati, Gadi, Mana, Muktai, Gadi and Arasa.
Price: $ 20

5. Papers/ Articles
My research papers & articles can be read at the following site:

PriyaLasya(C), Do Not Copy, Copyrights Acknowledged

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