Once you consider historical traditions, vibrant crafts, performing arts and forgotten folklore, you consider Odisha. Residence to a number of crafts and craftsmen, there are a number of painters, puppeteers, weavers and sculptors right here. And all of them dedicate their lives and artwork to the triad deities – Lord Jagannath and his siblings. And a go to to Raghurajpur , the Heritage Arts and Crafts Village, positioned 15 kms from Puri. you enter the world of conventional artwork , music and dance, be it the colorful patachitra or the mesmerising Gotipua dance.
It appears like a digital artwork gallery the second I enter the portals of Raghurajpur. Each resident right here is an artist or a Chitrakaar and the village is synonymous with Patachitra, the standard scroll work that apparently date again to the 4th century.
The artists invite me inside to showcase their crafts however I’m in awe of the vivid murals that adorn the façade of their homes. Birds fly out the canvas, seasons change, and timber flower whereas deities and demons narrate legends. However the reigning theme is the portrait of the triad deities – Lord Jagannath and his siblings, Balabhadra and Subhadra who gaze upon you from each wall.
Nevertheless, there’s extra to Raghurajpour than the patachitra. As I potter across the village, I hear strains of music and the rhythm of beats, echoing from a small lane. I comply with the melody and some artists information me to a home with a big corridor the place younger boys, dressed as women carry out a standard dance .” We name it the Gotipua. Goti means single and pua means boy, “ says one of many dance masters as they take a small break earlier than resuming practise. “Gotipua dance was as soon as a solo efficiency and the boy needed to grasp each singing and dancing in addition to being adept at enjoying musical devices, “ he provides.
Because the dance continues, I’m schooled just a little extra within the historical past of Gotipua. This conventional Gotipua dance was initially a ritual carried out on the Lord Jagannath temple by Maharis or Devadasis. Slowly they have been changed by younger boys, dressed up like girls. The boys joined the Gurukul once they have been barely 5 years previous and so they lived right here till their adolescence. I later study that there are two Akharas or Gurukuls right here which have been attempting to revive this historical dance kind that had even impressed the classical Odissi. The inspiration is none apart from the maestro, Kelucharan Mohapatra who was from Raghurajpur and was a Gotipua dancer as properly.
As I go searching, I can see shy boys aged between 5-15 years dressed up like girls, with giant bindis on their foreheads, kohl rimmed eyes, shiny crimson lipstick, flowers of their lengthy hair, dancing away to songs and verses composed on Radha and Krishna. It was believed that the Gotipua dancers have been the female companions of Lord Krishna when he was a boy.
They’re adorned in conventional costumes in silk which embrace a shiny colored shirt known as “Kanchula” and a “Nibibandha” that’s worn like an apron. The latter is tied across the waist and it spreads like a fan across the legs. The jewelry is designed particularly for the dancers and it consists of necklaces, earrings, bangles and bracelets, anklets and armbands.
The dancers paint a vivid image however the dance is exuberant, energetic and acrobatic and is choreographed with many fleet-footed actions that actually take your breath away. Most dancers begin studying at a young age of 5 in order that the actions are versatile and quick. The dancers am informed are rehearsing for a efficiency on the village for an occasion.
Though the standard dance dates again to the sixteenth century, as we speak it’s schooled and practised in simply Raghurajpur and Puri the place the custom is being saved alive. As I depart the village, the music fades away however the vivid faces of the younger boys are etched in my reminiscence.
This text was revealed in Deccan Herald as properly.