Preparing to Dance
Sloka – Prayer
We initiate our dance practice by reciting a sloka. Slokas are short verses from the Vedas, the ancient scriptures. They usually attributed to specific Gods or Goddesses and serve as an invocation prayer to attain steady and peaceful state of being.
Below are the two most common dance slokas from the Abhinaya Darpana by Nandikeshvara, one of the main classical dance texts.
Nama – Salutation ; Kriya – Action ; Sloka – spiritual poetry
In this sloka Shiva, in his form as the “lord of dance” is praised as the embodiment of the four types of abhinaya: Body movement ; ornaments and costume ; music and poetry ; emotional expression.
Angikam Bhuvanam Yasya (Your body is the movement of the world)
Vachikam Sarva Bhagmayam (Your words resonate through the entire universe)
Aharyam Chandra Taradi (The Moon and the stars are your ornaments)
Tum Namaa Satvikam Shivam (I salute you Shiva, the embodiment of truth)
“We bow to Him the benevolent One whose limbs are the world, whose song and poetry are the essence of all language, whose costume is the moon and the stars…”
GURU BRHAMA SLOKA
Guru Brhama (Birth, You are my teacher)
Guru Vishnu (Life, You are my teacher)
Guru Deva Maheshvara (Death, You are my teacher)
Guru Sakshat Param Bramha (Emptiness, You are certainly my teacher)
Tasmay shri Guruveh Namaha (To such respected teacher I offer my devotion)
Bhumi Pranam – Salutation to the earth
Odissi dancers offer Bhumi Pranam – A Dance-Prayer sequence to initiate and to conclude every dance session. Bhumi is the earth Goddess. We salute the earth before practice, asking permission to stump upon her and generate our creation, and we thank her at the end of our practice, for allowing us to dance upon her.
Before we begin to dance, we center and ground: connecting with our natural and calm breath, with the earth, with the heaven, and with space within and around.
The dancer is seen as the creator of the universe, creating her own universe with her dance and letting creation happen through her while dancing. As we prepare ourselves to dance, it is important to view ourselves as the center axis between heaven and earth, and let all manifestation revolve around us. The most profound role of the dancer is her ability to transform her own reality and touch her audience deeply, offering the opportunity to transcend ordinary life moments into extra-ordinary spiritual ones.
Odissi dance takes shape as a gradual progression: addressing all aspects of the dance and then layering them together into a complete and intricate whole. We begin every practice session with gentle exercises; joint opening sequences and light stretches, followed by more vigorous exercises that strengthen the legs, open the hips, flex the spine, and develop stamina and rhythm.
We proceed with distinct dance postures and various dance steps, spins, walks and jumps, climaxing in learning a choreography.
A session concludes with unwinding and cooling down, as well as refining our mudra practice, developing eye, head, & neck movements, and our facial expressions.
ODISSI DANCE BASICS
Odissi is a devotional dance form originating in the temples of ancient India. Curvaceous movements, sculptured poses, fluid grace, and impeccable rhythm characterize this vibrant art. This class introduces fundamental principles of Odissi Dance, including chauka and tribhangi steps, and the distinct expressive quality of its eye movement and hand gestures (mudras).
TEMPLE GODDESS WORKOUT
A fusion of Indian Dance and Yoga to awaken your inner Goddess! This sequence of innovative moves will enliven your body, seduce your heart, and empower you with the magnetism of a temple dancer. Come and explore new dimensions of natural beauty, confidence, and vitality.
YOGA OF INDIAN DANCE
Discover a renewed sense of inner power and youthful radiance, combining Yogic techniques with innovative Indian Dance moves. Focus is placed on proper alignment, moving from our center, and developing fluidity and connectivity in our movement.
MUDRAS: POWERFUL HAND GESTURES
Mudras are used for healing, concentration, and expanding consciousness, and they are an essential part of Indian Dance, Yoga, Taoist alchemy, and Buddhist meditation. In Indian Dance, mudras are used to communicate deep feelings and tell intricate stories. Energetically, they hold the power to transform raw life-power into subtle spiritual expression. Join Revital Carroll for a fascinating exploration of traditional hand mudras, and discover simple and powerful way to access your core being, transform body and mind, and bring an element of beauty and devotion to your spiritual practice.
Drawing from years of experience in Tantric Yoga and Taoist Alchemy, Revital weaves an ecstatic practice that ignites the sacred feminine and opens the flow of creative energy. Focus is placed on moving naturally from the lower belly, and special emphasis is given to the opening pathway between the pelvis and the heart.
ODISSI DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY
After a student has a grip of the basics, a choreographycan be taught. This class is usually offered in private lessons, but can be offered in a group setting for intermediate students and as part of a multi-day workshop. Odissi repertoire is very diverse and there are many dance items to choose from. To learn more visit: Odissi Repertoire
Shakti Yoga Fusion – Roots & Branches
Discover a renewed sense of inner power and youthful radiance, while learning how to ground and strengthen your lower body. From years of experience in Yoga, dance, and Taoist Alchemy, Revital weaves an ecstatic practice to ignite the sacred feminine and open the flow of creative energy.
Shakti Yoga Fusion – Waves & Spirals
In this workshop we explore the grace and expression of upper body movement. We will dive into developing nourishing fluidity, and connect with the natural spirals and circles inherent in our body.
Odissi: Indian Temple Dance – Essentials & Mudras
Odissi is a classical dance form originating in the ancient temples of South India. You will learn origins and intentions of the dance, traditional warm up exercises, basic footwork, stances, and movements. Rhythmic patterns and preliminary steps will be practiced using Odissi’s fundamental dance positions (chauka and tribhanga), as well as classical hand gesture (mudras) applications.
Odissi: Indian Temple Dance – Spins, Phrases, Expressions
Prepare to hop into more elaborate steps, spins & jumps as well as learning the expressive quality of eye, neck and torso movement. Your new skills will be applied in a short dance sequence.
Rhythm and Flow Fundamentals
Blending yogic alignment principals with the captivating Indian Dance moves, you will develop balance, poise, strength and grace. Discover new heights of creative potential, and connect with the flow of devotion through subtle movements and rhythmic footwork.