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A break from tradition as girls take up Gotipua | India News – Times of India



Bhubaneswar:

Over the past few years,more and more girls, digressing from tradition,are performing Gotipua, a move viewed as practical these days given how boys are reluctant to dress up as girls and perform. Gurus feel that it is difficult to keep a tradition alive without grooming new talent. “Many guardians are not allowing boys to join gurukuls. They want their children to join some other profession.But I am yet to take any girl student,” said Guru Lingaraj Barik, who runs a Gotipua school in Bhubaneswar.
Also, it takes years to groom a dancer and boys are socially and traditionally bound to be the breadwinners of the families. Gurukuls in Raghurajpur are starting with their family members to groom girls in the dance form. “I enrolled my daughter in a Gotipua gurukul when she was just four years old. I felt she should learn it as it is an art form and should follow the disciplined life of a gurukul,” said Guru Gangadhar Nayak (76), who is himself a Gotipua and folk artiste from Raghurajpur. He runs the Swostishree Gotipua Odissi Nrutya Parishad in the village. “Except during the menstrual cycle, I have never faced any problem in performing Gotipua,” said Nayak’s daughter Bhanupriya (32), who started learning Gotipua in 1996-97.
Similarly, Guru Laxman Moharana has also trained his daughter, Swarnalata, in the traditional dance form. “I wanted to prove that girls can dance Gotipua, so I performed in public after learning from my father,” said Swarnalata (31).
Currently, girls are being trained in Moharana’s gurukul.
At a recent discussion, eminent Odissi dancer and writer Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi said, “Women are experts in dance and music and they can perform Gotipua as well.”
Guru Maguni Das, however, has chosen to stick to tradition and has not trained any girl in his Dasabhuja Gotipua Odissi Nrutya Parishad, Raghurajpur. “We continue to stick to tradition,” said Sebendra Das, his son and secretary of the gurukul.





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