Odissi is a form of Indian Temple Dance characterized by the ecstatic expression of grace and power. The Dance unifies feminine and masculine energies through fluid movement and rhythmic footwork. Odissiís distinctive Tribhangi position, where the body is bent at three places: Knees, waist, and neck, gives this form a rounded softer movement then other Classical Indian Dance forms.
The dancer is adorned with vibrant silk costume, great amount of silver ornamentation, Goddess-like Make up, and an elaborate hair-do and head-piece. Ankle Bells are worn to accompany the musical rhythm. The music is soft and lilting, yet rhythmic and poses a trance quality. The essential instruments are the Pakhawaj drum, small cymbal, harmonium, flute, vocals, and usually a violin or a sitar or both.
Although dancing to live music is preferred, often times a dancer will dance with recorded music.