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  • Writer's pictureOdisha Crafts Museum

Gotipua Dance At Kala Bhoomi

Updated: Jul 20, 2018

Gotipua dance serves as a precursor to the Odissi where boys are dressed as women to

dedicate their devotion and worship the Lord Jagannath.The masculine energy of the young boys and the feminine poise they present, Gotipua Dance is a perfect blend from all aspects. Forming elegant poses on the verses from Gita Govinda, the Gotipua Nritya is but a recollection of our roots.

Etymologically, ‘Gotipua’ in Oriya means ‘single boy’. But the dance is performed in groups. Long ago, the temples in Odisha had female dancers called Maharis who were devoted to and performed for Lord Jagannath. When the Mahari dance form started declining, the male dancers continued the tradition by dressing up as the female dancers. Although the Gotipua dance follows the Odissi style, the technique, costumes and presentation are different from that of the Mahari dance. In Gotipua, the dancers themselves sing.

The dance form is not an easy one to master, as it requires rigorous training and regular practice. The boys are recruited to learn the dance at a very young age, and undergo training until their adolescence, when their androgynous appearances begin to change.

The surprise and charm of the movements was heightened when the audience realised that the performers were actually young boys dressed up as females. The highlight act of the evning was Bandha Nritya which is a combination of complex acrobatic feats and postures and graceful steps, that left our audiences spellbound !

Kala Bhoomi hosted Gotipua Dance for its Museum Walkers and visitors on 01st July 2018.

This cultural initiative is supported by Odisha Tourism and Detour Odisha .

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