Given To Dance: India’s Odissi Tradition

DVD – (57 minutes, 1985)

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Price: $195.00 + shipping and handling

dance… deals with Odissi dance, associated with the temple of Lord Jagganath in Puri, Orissa. In the past, a few families ritually married their young daughters to Lord Jagganath. Their daughters then trained as devadasis (female servants of the Lord, supported by the temple) to sing and dance in the temple. The British colonial administrators mistakenly labeled the devadasis “temple prostitutes.” The film interviews the last of the devadasis as they describe dancing for the Lord. We meet gotipuas, boys dressed as girls who provide a more popular form of the dance outside the temple. And we meet contemporary performers of Odissi dance, who attend workshops and talk about dancing for self-fulfillment. The film captures the dynamics of an elaborate dance tradition undergoing not one–but two–reinterpretations.

Download the Review by Richard Schechner, American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 88, No. 4 (Dec., 1986), pp. 1040-1042.

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