Odissi, is a major ancient classical dance that originated in the Hindu temples of Orissa – an eastern coastal state of India. Odissi, in its history, was performed predominantly by women,and expressed religious stories and spiritual ideas, particularly of Vaishnavism, but also of other traditions such as those related to Hindu gods Shiva, Surya and Shakti.
Modern Odissi is performed by children and adults, in solo or as group. The characteristics feature of Odissi is its posture, namely Samabhanga, Abhanga and Tribhanga (S shaped posture).
The theoretical foundations of Odissi trace to the ancient Sanskrit text of Natya Shastra, its existence in antiquity evidenced by the dance poses in the sculptures of Odissi Hindu temples, and archeological sites related to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Odissi dance tradition declined during the Islamic rule era, was suppressed under the British rule, a suppression that was protested by the Indians and led to its revival, reconstruction and expansion since India gained independence from the colonial rule.