Indian classical dancers performing Odissi and Kathak dance forms

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Indian classical dancers performing Odissi and Kathak dance forms at Nritaya Sangam, organised by ICCR in Delhi.

The Odissi dance of Odisha (Orissa) is one of the six acknowledged classical dance forms of India. Like all other Indian classical dances, it also has its initiation in religion and philosophy with an origin in the temples of Odisha (Orissa). The rhythm, Bhangis and Mudras used in Odissi dance have a distinct style of its own. The dance is performed mainly with the theme of Infinite love of Lord Krishna and Radha.

Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dance. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakars or storytellers. Its form today contains traces of temple and ritual dances, and the influence of the bhakti movement. From the 16th century onwards it absorbed certain features of Persian dance and central Asian dance which were imported by the royal courts of the Mughal era.

The name Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha meaning story, and katthaka in Sanskrit means he who tells a story, or to do with stories.

There are three major schools or gharana of Kathak from which performers today generally draw their lineage: the gharanas of Jaipur, Lucknow and Varanasi (born in the courts of the Kachwaha Rajput kings, the Nawab of Oudh, and Varanasi respectively); there is also a less prominent (and later) Raigarh gharana which amalgamated technique from all three preceding gharanas but became famous for its own distinctive compositions.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister.

Its objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations; to foster and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries; to promote cultural exchanges with other countries and people; and to develop relations with national and international organizations in the field of culture.

Source : http://www.orissatourism.org & Wikipedia and http://www.iccrindia.net/

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