Diwali: Dance To The Lights

A closer look at the different movements in a prayer dance for Diwali through Odissi

By MUDRA foundation

on the occasion of DIWALI, the festival of lights

Indian Classical Dance - Odissi by Masako OnoMUDRA foundation

In the form of Odissi dance

The most sensuous, ecstatic, and spiritual dance from the ancient India, Odissi is one of the 8 Indian Classical Dance forms.

Indian Classical Dance - Odissi by Masako OnoMUDRA foundation

Odissi dates back to 2nd century BCE proving that it is one of the oldest dance forms of India. 

Indian Classical Dance - Odissi by Masako OnoMUDRA foundation

A prayer to the Lord Ganesha

The dancer shows the elephant headed Ganesha, with the big ear and long nose with tusk, from the choreography of  "Namami" (choreographed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra), in Indian Classical Dance, Odissi format.

Indian Classical Dance - Odissi by Masako OnoMUDRA foundation

The father of Ganesha, Shiva holding snakes and playing with them.

Indian Classical Dance - Odissi by Masako OnoMUDRA foundation

The dancer shows the head of snake, who is the father of Ganesha, Shiva, is friends with.

Dance to the light... Prologue to DIWALI - the Festival of Lights - (ODISSI)MUDRA foundation

The prayer dance for Ganesha

It is believed that on the Diwali night, Goddess Lakshmi visits each house to bless her devotees with great wealth and luxuries, but those worshipping Lakshmi for wealth would first have to worship Ganesha to gain intellect to avoid misuse of wealth.

Indian Classical Dance - Odissi by Masako OnoMUDRA foundation

A prayer to Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi holding lotus flowers.

Indian Classical Dance - Odissi by Masako OnoMUDRA foundation

Goddess Lakshmi giving blessings to the people.

Dance to the light... Prologue to DIWALI - the Festival of Lights - (ODISSI)MUDRA foundation

Om, I meditate on the greatest goddess, Lakshmi, who is the wife of Lord Vishnu, Give me higher intellect, and let Goddess Lakshmi illuminate my mind, I seek her blessings to fulfill my desires.

- Lakshmi (Laxmi) Gayatri Mantra

Indian Classical Dance - Odissi Costume by Masako OnoMUDRA foundation

Set of ornaments of Odissi dance

Jewellery and ghunghroo (bells) used in Odissi dance. These adorn the head, ear, neck, hands, fingers and waist of the dancer.

The ornaments include a choker, padaka-tilaka (a long necklace), bahichudi or tayila (armlets), kankana (bracelets), a mekhalaa (belt), anklets, bells, kapa (earrings) and a seenthi (ornament work on the hair and forehead).

Indian Classical Dance - Odissi Costume by Masako OnoMUDRA foundation

Jewellery made in Odisha, the eastern state of India

Filigree jewellery is often used in Odissi dance. Filigree (Filigrann or filigreen) is a delicate kind of jewellery metal work made with twisted threads usually of gold and silver. 

Cuttack District in Odisha, India has a long tradition of meticulous and sophisticated craftsmanship in silver filigree works, locally known as Tarakasi, for its delicateness and intricate workmanship.

Filigree is an ancient art from from the Greeks and Phoenicians. This exquisite, lacy metal technique can be traced back 5000 years.

Indian Classical Dance - Odissi Costume by Masako OnoMUDRA foundation

Costumes of Odissi dance

Costume for Odissi dance are normally made of Odisha Ikat, made through a process of tie-dying the warp and weft threads to create the design on the loom prior to weaving. 

A tissue silk Ikat saree costume woven by the weavers in Odisha. Tissue is thread of jari made as thin as a silk thread. Saree woven by alternate threads one direct silk thread and another is tissue thread. It has a lustrous texture and intricate designs. 

Dance to the light... Prologue to DIWALI - the Festival of Lights - (ODISSI)MUDRA foundation

Happy Diwali!

Thank you everyone.

Credits: Story

"From ancient to contemporary to future, dance art travels beyond time and space"「古代から現代そして未来まで、ダンス・アートは時空を超える」

Dancer: Masako Ono (masakoono.com/)


Masako Ono Performing Arts (MOPA dance institution)
mopaindia.com/

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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