When one speaks of the culture of Orissa the mention of Orissi dance becomes a natural thing to do. And when one speaks of the Odissi dance, a mention of the great Sanskrit poet Jayadeva, who wrote the Gita Govinda becomes a must.
Samjukta Panigrahi along with her guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, is credited with reviving the all but extinct Odissi dance, an ancient Indian performance form from Orissa state. Odissi is solo form that combines music, song and a style of dance that includes a rich choreography with mudra hand gestures similar to those in other Indian genres such as Kathakali and pantomimic movement to convey complex narratives of love, personnel sacrifice and humankind’s relations to the gods.
Bhubaneswar before becoming the capital of Orissa in 1948 had been a temple town. As a temple town it prospered and thrived, becoming an important Hindu cultural and religious center...it is generally believed that the town probably developed around the Lingaraj temple, erected to commemorate Lord Shiva. Thus the name Bhubaneshwar – the Lord of the Three Worlds: Tribhuvaneshvara.
...the city’s character alternated with Buddhism , Jainism , Shaivism , and Vaishnavism – religions which found a home in Bhubaneswar at one time or another with the changing dynasties of Kalinga, the ancient name for Orissa . The presence of different religions gave Bhubaneswar its pluralistic character, but not without making the Oriya people suspicious of outsiders;m and it also gave Bhubaneshar its definite religious character, which has endured into the present.
...Orissa government had taken the decision for placing the capital at Bhubaneshwar in September 1946...Dr. H Otto Koenigsberger, a German Jew, was first mentioned as a town planner, who had fled Germany and arrived in India at the invitation of Diwan (Chief Minister) Mirza Ismail of Mysore in 1939.
I do not know if they [Health Ministry] will be able to spare him [Koenigsberger], for any length of time but I suppose he can go to Orissa from time to time.
...since Patna college was founded, Patna has been the most important place of education in Bihar; and it is now a university town, the acknowledged headquarters of educational activity in the Province. Moreover, in 1912, with the inauguration of new Province of Bihar and Orissa, Patna was restored to its old station of a Provincial Capital.
Odissi traces its origins to the ritual dances performed in the temples of ancient northern India. Today the name Odissi refers to the dance style of the state of Orissa in eastern India.
The Odissi dancer Samjukta Panigrahi...carried the heritage of an ancient art form revived in her body. Her artistry was based on the teaching of her guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, her ability to give physical form to the ancient carvings of temple of temple dancers on the walls of the temples in Orissa, and the transformation of the Natyashstra’s performance rules into the odissi dance form.
Like all dances of classical nature, the Odissi is also accompanied by singing in which people specialize and the compositions of Jayadeva and other poets are utilized for the purpose. In fact, the Oriya style of singing and the rendering of the poet’s songs is somewhat distinct and this has given birth to a style of some ragas and musical performance which are unique and special to Orissa.