Odissi is the classical dance form of Orissa. An ancient dance form, it has been mentioned in the Natya Shastra written in about 200BC; the dance form was then called Odra-Magadhi. Odissi has a very lyrical, free-flowing effect enhanced by the dancer’s independent movement of the head, chest and feet.
In the clip I have chosen for you today, the dancer first starts with a short salutation to Jagannatha, the presiding God of Orissa. The dancer then salutes Ganesha. It is interesting to note that in the shloka, Ganesha is called an expert in dance like his father Shiva. One of my favourite forms of Ganesha is the dancing Ganesha so this invocation pleases me very much.
नमामि विघ्नराज त्वम् कल्पवृक्ष स्थल स्थितं
उमा पुत्रं महाकायं दन्तिकं नृत्य कोविदं
ताण्डव प्रिय पुत्राय ताण्डव प्रिय रूपिणं
नमो चिन्तामणि नित्यं शुद्ध बुद्धि प्रदायकम
namAmi vighnarAja tvam
kalpavriksha sthala- sthitam
umA putram mahakAyam
dantikam nritya kOvidam
tANDava priya putrAya
tANDava priya rUpiNam
namO chintAmaNi nityam
shuddha buddhi pradAyakam
I have not heard this salutation before. I have attempted a translation so that you can appreciate the dance mudras (gestures).
I salute you, Vighnaraja (Ganesha) , who resides where the Kalpavriksha (boon giving tree) is. Who is the son of Uma (Shakti), who has an immense body, who is tusked, who is a skilled dancer, son of the One who loves the Tandava dance (Shiva), who is a form of Shiva. Salutations always to you, the boon-bestowing gem, who blesses us with a clear intellect.
Here is Sujata Mohapatra dancing the Managalacharan.