Orissa steps to revive traditional temple dance

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Puri (Orissa), June 21 (ANI): A unique dance festival was organized in Orissa's Puri city on Sunday to revive the age-old tradition of Devadasis, or temple dancers.

The 'Mahari Dance' festival was organised to display the unique form of dancing by the Devadasis.

Due to insufficient exposure, forms of the temple dances had gradually lost their importance in the past two decades and to address that, the festival was organized.

"The Odissi dance and the Gotipu used to be performed in the Jagannath temple only, and no programmes were organised outside the temple. That's why the dance form could not be promoted and people started forgetting about it. We thought about promoting this and organised a workshop like this," said Ramachandra Das Mohapatra, chief organizer of the festival.

"The main thing about Mahaan naari (great women) is that they devote their life to the service of Lord Jagannath. So, the kind of feeling, the joy and the kind of posture is not there in any other kind of dance form. So, it's a very unique form of dancing," said Sampurna Baliarsing, a dancer.

The Mahari dance form was recognised in the 12th century and displays the relationship between God and the Maharis.

It is believed that the dance forms like Odissi, Chhau, Gotipu and others have evolved from the Mahari dance form. (ANI)

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