Odissi is an ancient temple dance from the State of Odissa in Eastern India. Its great antiquity can be judged from sculptures in temples such as the famed sun temple of Konark, where it used to be performed as an offering to the deity. Odissi is based on the more than 1200 year old Sanskrit classic of sage Bharata on dance, drama and music - the Natya Shastra. The dance uses gestures, postures, movements, expressions and aesthetic concepts described in this book and its themes are always spiritual and mythological – derived from the rich world of Hindu mythology.
In modern times Odissi dance has undergone a great development and refinement as a performing art due to the work of Gurus like Kelucharan Mahapatra to whose tradition Bithika Mistry belongs, having learnt from Guru Arundhoti Roy - one of his senior disciples. Bithika also had the privilege of learning under Guru Muralidhar Majhi another great teacher and choreographer of Odissi dance.