Gotipuas mesmerize at the Gotipua Dance Festival
Photos courtesy: Odisha Tourism

November 22, 2012

For the second year, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre under the aegis of the Department of Tourism & Culture, Govt. of Odisha, organised the three day Gotipua Dance Festival from 15th November at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar. The first day witnessed an excellent show featuring three eminent Gotipua dance troupes who excelled one another by their splendid performances. The premier institute, Dasabhuja Gotipua Nrutya Parishad of village Raghurajpur founded by late Guru Maguni Das started their presentation with ‘Guru Vandana’ followed by an abhinaya number to a traditional song “Ki Sovago Kunje Madana Mohana Chahanre Prana  Mitani” sung during Jhulana Jatra of Lord Jagannath set to raag Ananda Bhairavi and taal Ektali. It was followed by Saregama Pallavi “Remama Padhani,” a typical rhythmic dance without any literary content except some banis or rhythmic syllables.

Dasabhuja Gotipua Odissi Nrutya Parishad

Abhinna Sunder Gotipua Nrutya Parishad

Konark Natya Mandap

The second programme was by the artists of Abhinna Sundar Gotipua Nrutya Parishad from the same village who presented Pahandi Bije, a sequence when Lord Jagannath comes out of temple for the car festival, an innovative peice conceived and designed by Basant Maharana, the young Gotipua master. This was followed by a very popular abhinaya piece “Ahe Neela Saila” composed by poet Salabeg. The sequences were beautifully choreographed and presented depicting different characters by the Gotipua artistes. The group ended its program with Bandha exhibiting different skills with acrobatic gestures much to the joy and ecstacy of the audience.

The concluding program presented by the small boys of Konark Natya Mandap founded by late Guru Gangadhar Pradhan indeed stole the show. Beginning with Badya Pallavi the artistes presented a blend of beautiful rhythmic syllables with nimble body movement. They switched to Chhanda “Bitalaku Alingana” written by poet Upendra Bhanja. In this dance number set to raag Chokhi and taal rupak, the artists exhibited impeccable gestures with mudras followed by an abhinaya “Dekhiba Para Asare Shree Banshidhara Beshaku” which received tremendous applause and appreciation from the art lovers. The bandha dance presented by the artistes was perfectly synchronized and elegantly executed. The whirling of limbs, gyrations and wonderful balance of time and movement, elegance and aesthetics through singing and dancing espousing the philosophy of Sakhi Bhava i.e. offering one’s own self to Krishna as female attendants, marked the performance of the Gotipuas.

The second day of the Gotipua Dance Festival showcased scintillating performances by four reputed Gotipua dance groups - the Nakshyatra Gurukul from Gaudia in Brahmagiri, Chandrasekhar Gotipua Kala Sansad from Dimirisena in Brahmagiri, Nilakantheswar Gotipua Gurukul Dance Akademi from Ghatakudi in Brahmagiri and Aradhana Dance Akademi from Kandagoda in Brahmagiri. Artistes of Nakshyatra Gurukul started their performance with a Vandana “Kasturi Tilakam” an invocatory piece as the customary presentation of Gotipua dance. That was followed by “Sa Re Ga Ma Pallavi” depicting pure dance sequences, much to the delight of the audience. In the abhinaya, they performed on a traditional song “Bajilani Bajiba Bajuchilo Rajiba Nayanan” which depicts a sakhi’s conversation with Radha. This enchanting piece was emotive and beautifully presented by the dancers. Their last item was Bandha Nritya in which the artists displayed acrobatic skills with ease and perfection.

Chandrasekhar Gotipua Kala Sansad

Nakshyatra Gurukul

Aradhana Dance Akademi

The Chandrasekhar Gotipua Kala Sansad began with a Pallavi set to raga Bakula Bharana followed by two abhinaya items. The first one “Dheere Radha Kara Dhari” composed by poet Abhimanyu Samanta Singhar and the other one was a Chhanda “Kamala Lochana Karichi Manna” composed by Upendra Bhanja. The Nilakantheswar Gotipua Gurukula Dance Akademi started their performance with Jagarana Nritya dedicated to Lord Shiva, “Bande Umapati Sura Guru”, followed by “Janana,” a devotional piece in honour of Lord Balunkeswara, the presiding deity of village Dimirisena, the hometown of the group. That was followed by a performance on a popular song called “Sarana Galire Murali Toro” composed by poet Banamali and another abhinaya “Aau Kahakara Dharibi Re Sajani” composed by Upendra Bhanja. Their program ended with Bandha Nritya.

Aradhana Dance Akademi started their performance with an abhinaya “Dekha Go Radha Madhaba Chali” a very popular song performed by Gotipuas during Chandan Yatra, followed by another Natyangi abhinaya “Saja Kanja Nayana Kunje Aare.” They concluded the program with Bandha Nritya. The crowd could be seen enjoying itself, reciting and clapping along with the performances. While abhinayas kept the audience hooked, the elegant and thrilling Bandha Nritya amazed the crowd.

The concluding evening featured scintillating performances by three Gotipua groups namely, Natyambar from Dimirisena, Brahmagiri; Orissa Dance Akademi Gotipua Gurukul, Dhauli and Laxmipriya Gotipua Nrutyakendra, Balipatna.  The last item of the evening, which added to the flavor was the Jaga Akhada Sangeet, a typical group singing nurtured in the gymnasiums at different streets of Puri.

The first program started with “Guru vandana,” an invocatory piece in praise of the Guru by the artistes of Natyambar, followed by ‘Badya Pallavi’ and ‘Swara Pallavi,’ pure dance items normally performed by the Gotipuas.  In abhinaya, the dancers performed to the song “Aaja Mu Dekhili Ghanshyamaku” followed by acrobatic skills in Bandha Nritya. The small boys of Dimirisena, a place where this Gotipua act has been nurtured over the years, charmed the audience with their presentation.

The Gotipua artists of Orissa Dance Akademi Gotipua Gurukul, Dhauli began their program with “Sa Re Ga Ma Pallavi”, followed by three abhinayas to songs “Dekha Go Radha Madhaba Chali”, “Bitilata Jamini” and “Sukumari Ange Kalasa.” The spellbinding abhinaya by the Gotipua duo for Bitilata Jamini amazed the audience. The last item in the repertoire was Bandha Nritya executed elegantly with ease and precision.

Laxmipriya Gotipua Nrutya Kendra, Balipatna

Odisha Dance Akademi Gotipua Gurukul, Dhauli

Natyambara, Dimirisena, Brahmagiri

The last group Laxmipriya Gotipua Nrutyakendra commenced with “Panchadeva Stuti” followed by Pallavi and then two abhinayas “Na Tejibi Muralidhara” and “Janaka Maharishi Hasina Kahanti.” They ended their program with Bandha dance, displaying some beautiful formations.

The three-day festival vibrated with colour, rhythm and grandeur, regaling the audience who responded overwhelmingly to this beautifully designed and orchestrated performance with a befitting ambience of Pattachitra in the backdrop. The scintillating abhinayas, mostly related to Krishna Leela, and the pure dance movements kept the visitors spellbound for three days leaving an indelible imprint in their minds to wait eagerly for the next year’s fest.

The gurus and masters, who through their sustained efforts produced such talents, are master Siddheswar Muduli, master Basant Moharana, Guru Birabara Sahoo, Guru Jayakrushna Nayak, Guru Chintamani Rout, master Banamber Swain, master Bijay Kumar Sahoo, Guru Satyapira Palai, master Goutam Mohapatra, master Chitrasena Swain, master Laxmidhar Swain, master Prabhat Swain and Guru Lingaraj Barik.

The programme was compered by Dr. Mrutunjay Rath, Dr. Mitali Chinara and Mamata Panigrahi. The festival was telecast live by DD-Bharati and webcast live by NIC.