Odissi costume – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dancewear & Costumes Glossary

I. What is Odissi costume?

Odissi is a classical dance form that originated in the state of Odisha in India. It is known for its graceful movements, intricate footwork, and expressive storytelling. The Odissi costume plays a significant role in enhancing the beauty and elegance of the dance form. It is a traditional attire that is rich in history and culture.

II. What are the key components of an Odissi costume?

The key components of an Odissi costume include a saree, blouse, jewelry, and accessories. The saree is usually made of silk or cotton and is draped in a unique style that allows for fluid movements during the dance. The blouse is typically short-sleeved and fitted to the body. Jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, bangles, and anklets are worn to accentuate the dancer’s movements and add a touch of glamour to the costume.

III. How is the jewelry used in Odissi costume?

Jewelry plays a crucial role in the Odissi costume as it adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of the dancer. The jewelry worn in Odissi includes traditional pieces such as temple jewelry, silver ornaments, and stone-studded accessories. These pieces are intricately designed and are meant to highlight the dancer’s facial expressions, hand gestures, and footwork. The sound of the anklets and bangles also adds a rhythmic element to the performance.

IV. What are the different styles of draping the saree in Odissi?

There are several styles of draping the saree in Odissi, each with its own unique characteristics. The most common style is the traditional Nivi drape, where the saree is wrapped around the waist and pleated at the front. Another popular style is the Kuchipudi drape, where the pallu is draped over the shoulder and pinned at the back. The Bengali drape is another style that involves pleating the saree at the front and draping the pallu over the left shoulder.

V. How do the colors and designs of Odissi costumes vary?

The colors and designs of Odissi costumes vary depending on the theme of the performance and the preferences of the dancer. Traditional Odissi costumes are usually vibrant and colorful, with intricate designs and patterns. The colors used in the costumes are often symbolic and represent different emotions or themes. For example, red is associated with passion and love, while white symbolizes purity and peace. The designs on the costumes may include floral motifs, geometric patterns, or traditional handloom weaves.

VI. How has the Odissi costume evolved over time?

The Odissi costume has evolved over time to reflect changing trends and influences. In the past, Odissi dancers wore simple cotton sarees with minimal jewelry. However, with the revival of the dance form in the 20th century, there has been a renewed interest in traditional Odissi costumes. Today, Odissi dancers wear elaborate silk sarees with intricate embroidery and embellishments. The jewelry worn by dancers has also become more ornate and detailed, adding to the grandeur of the performance. Despite these changes, the essence of the Odissi costume remains rooted in tradition and continues to be a symbol of cultural heritage and artistic expression.