Dance And Music Of Odisha

Odissi Dance
Picture Courtesy: Twitter

Dance And Music Of Odisha – A ‘land of temples’, ‘India’s best-kept secret’, etc titles have been accorded to Odisha. Its purity isn’t bound within the number of temples or tourist destinations residing in it.

Its diverse cuisines and festivals enhance its uniqueness as well. Yet one’s cultural tour to the state is incomplete without experiencing Odisha’s famous dance forms.

A state full of cultural ethics and artistic values, cannot run low in the field of entertainment.

‘Utkala’, another name for Odisha which carries the meaning Utkhrista (Excellent) Kala (Art). This Sanskrit term defines the nature of Odisha very well.

Read More: Odisha Culture & Tradition

Dance forms of Odisha

The famous classical dance of Odisha is ‘Odissi’. Within time, Odissi has made its way throughout the world.

Today many countries adopt this Indian classical dance form and are considered to be one of the most difficult ones as well.

Odissi Dance Form
Picture Courtesy: Twitter

Odissi is a major ancient Indian classical dance that originated in the Hindu temples of Odisha, making it the purest form of art.

The postures and mudras made in this form, and the dramatic theatrical performance; gives a whole different perspective to the art of dance.

Odissi is an Indian classical dance and archeological evidence indicates that it is the oldest surviving dance form in the country.

Other dance forms of Odisha are Chhau, Gotipua, Danda Nata, Sambalpuri, Dalkhai, Chaitighoda, and Medha Nacha.

Among them, most of them fall under the category of Odisha’s folk dances.

Music of Odisha

Odisha is one of the musical centers of South Asia. In the 11th century, Odissi music was codified into a classical style related to other styles of Indian classical music.

Odissi music is different from the more famous Hindustani & Karnataki music despite being a part of ancient ‘Magadhi music’ too.

The existing musical tradition of Odisha can broadly be grouped under five categories; Tribal music, Folk music, Light music, Light-Classical music, and Classical music.

Tribal Music

Tribal Music
Tribal Music

This music represents the tribal society of Odisha, those residing in the hilly or Jungish areas of Odisha.

The only medium of entertainment for tribal people is by singing and dancing at night when they come home after a long day of hunting.

They cook the meat and distribute it among their pack. Also, the sound of a healthy village keeps wild animals away during the peak hours.

Within time this tribal music and dance forms were brought to light and later became a part of Odisha’s artistic culture.

Folk Music

The folk song as we know are what is sung by ordinary people, are sung on different festivals and specific occasions for their own enjoyment.

Folk Music

 When folk dance forms of Odisha came forward, so did folk music.

Light music and Light-Classical music

Bhajans and Janans fall under the category of Light music. The bhajans that were sung carrying the hint of ragas, fall under the category of Light classical music.

Classical Music

All Bhajans, Janans, and Odissi music that is sculptured on the basis of ‘ragas’, are Classical music.

It consumes years of training to be profoundly good at the classical form of music.

Albeit being the most difficult form, many musicians have taken this form of music to the international level of recognition.

Classical Music

Some of the various sub-forms of classical music are Sri Geetagovinda, Chhanda, Tribhang, Swaramalika, etc.

These sub-forms of the traditional Odissi music can be categorized under the classical music of Odisha.


Where the extremely obligated dance form, Odissi gives a sense of harmony in its way of presenting a story.

The Odissi music co-operates to a unique blend of art and emotion.

Folk dances like Sambalpuri and Chhau, etc become highly enjoyable due to its musical co-operation.

Festivals become more melodious with the light music formed while reciting the legends and bhajans.

 The culture of every part of Odisha reflects in their respective dance forms conclusively. Hence, if one ever decides to explore Odisha may not want to miss the Dance and Music culture of this sacred state.