Acknowledgements. 1. The span. 2. In stone, line and colour. 3. Dancing girls, dancing boys. 4. On and off stage. 5. The pathfinders. 6. In consequence. Bibliography. Index.
The classical dance-form from Orissa is Orissi. Bit like the word, it is simple, refreshing and poetic. Lyrical sensuous and fluid too.
The history and heritage of Orissi is vast, covering two centuries of rulers and practitioners who added and enhanced the bodywork of the form found first in inscriptions and temple carvings, including in tantric yogini cult.
This the first ever in depth, authoritative and scholarly account on the intricate and extensive heritage and history of the form and of the rulers and kings who embellished it and the pioneering gurus and dancers who embellished it and the pioneering gurus and dancers who polished it to shine like a perfectly chiseled gem it is today.
The four pillars of the form gurus all Pankaj Charan Das, Kelucharan Mahapatra, Deba Prasad Das and Mayadhar Raut, have been profiled at length because to them we owe the revival and survival of Orissi as we see it today. Principal exponents and stars and some prominent students too feature in this book. This book with over 400 illustrations, spread over 340 pages took ten years to complete and is the most definitive account of the form. This is the last book the pioneering scholar, dance historian and collector Late Prof. Mohan Khokar wrote and left unfinished. His son and successor, Ashish Khokar has helped complete it.