Odissi or Orissi is one the oldest classical dance forms of India. It is one of the dance forms from the Octet repertoire of Indian Classical Dance forms.
It originates from the state of Orissa (now Odisha) (in eastern part of India) and has its origins since 1st Century BCE, as depicted in the sculptural relief in the caves of the Udaygiri hills carved during the reign of Emperor Kharavela.
Its distinguishing characteristic from the other classical Indian dance forms, is more by the prominence of the Tribhangi(3-actions) aspect i.e. the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis, displayed during the entire performance by the dancers. This dance is characterized by various Bhangas (Stance), which involves stamping of the foot and striking various postures as seen in Indian sculptures.
INDRAADHANUSH is a premier institution which specializes in Indian Classical Dance-Odissi and Folk dances of India. The institute is being managed by Dr. Bidisha Mohanty. The sole motive of this institution is to popularize the ‘Deba Prasad Style’ of Odissi dance. Bidisha also conducts workshops and lecture demonstrations for propagating Odissi and has been quite successful in inculcating a sense of commitment within its disciples.
Guru Durga Charan Ranbir is the most celebrated protégé of Late Dr Deba Prasad Das. He is responsible for popularizing the Deba Prasad Gurukul across the globe. Guru Ranbir is a globe-trotter and has numerous disciples worldwide. Apart from travelling with his disciples, he imparts training to them at his institute, "Nrutyayan", of which he is the founder director. Sri Ranbir is currently involved in preserving the Deba Prasad Gharana and is exploring all possibilities to accomplish his task. He has been very successful in his endeavor and is still striving to pass on his legacy.
Guru Sri Ranbir was attracted to Dance and Music since early childhood. After completing his matriculation he decided to join the Utkal Sangeeta Mahavidyalaya (an University of music and dance) in Bhubaneswar. Guruji seriously started training in Odissi under the direct supervision of Late Dr. Deba Prasad Das and also from Adi Guru Padmashree Pankaj Charan Das. Soon Guruji became a renowned disciple of Deba sir and till date is carrying on his legacy.
About Late Dr Deba Prasad Das:
Deba Prasad Das was born in a village called Kantapada in Cuttack district in Orissa. Deba Prasad's entry into the art world was through music lessons during his childhood under the supervision of his grand-father, who was well-versed in singing Chaanda, Bhajana and Janana etc. He joined the "Akhada" of Mohan Mohapatra at Puri and during this period, he took dance lessons from Kokila Prava Mahari and music lessons from Singhari Shyamasundar Kar.
In 1954, Guru Deba Prasad went to Delhi for the first time to accompany Dr Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi on the Mardala. This was for the first time Odissi dance was performed outside Orissa. Indrani Rehman was so impressed by Dr. Das's lecture demonstartions and workshops that she wanted to learn Odissi dance . She became his disciple and a new phase in the history of Odissi began. This Guru disciple pair toured & performed across Europe, USSR, England and also gave the first Odissi performance at Rashtrapati Bhawan in Dec, 1958. This Guru-Shishya pair popularised Odissi across the globe.
Deba Prasad joined Utkala Sangeet Mahavidyalaya to teach Odissi. Everything was continuing successfully, until he passed away suddenly on 16th July, 1986, leaving a void in the world of Odissi.
Deba Prasad believed that Odissi as a dance form has evolved from tribal, folk and classical culture, and thus he conceptualized Tridhara, which is quite vibrant in his style of dance. The "Sabda", "Swara" and "Pata" is an integral part of the Deba Prasad Tradition.