Acrobatic dance and ritual of Orissa 
India - Orissa
on Tour
9 artists on stage

Basant Moharan, direction

"I always remind my confused mind that this World
Is a Circus on tour,
in which only  illusionists’  tricks can be seen,
But the confused mind takes everything for granted. "

Gossain Bhava


In the traditional world, acrobatics is an expression of sacred and is intended to embody the supernatural through the human dexterity pushed to its climax, to create real living frescoes celebrating and honoring divinity. At the heart of millennial temples in Orissa, Lord Krishna continues to be reincarnated in the acrobatic art of gotipuas children dancers. Enchantment of the ritual, the deified bodies of the young gotipuas dancers contort themselves and compose real human pyramids evoking in an ancient  style some lively scenes. The body can indeed feminize in order to approach God better. Thus, since the sixteenth century, these gotipuas young boys show in their dance the androgynous nature of divinity.  Their acrobat and fragile childhood is entirely dedicated to Krishna, the mischievous shepherd who seduced Radha with his divine flute balancing on one leg.


The small village of Raghurajpur is located in the district of Puri.  Bordered by the river Bhargavi, its temple surrounded by coconut trees, betel vines, palms, mangoes and other tropical trees is a home to one of the last two schools of India to hand down this ancestral knowledge.  It is in this closed universe where incenses, offerings and incantatory chants combine that this incantation of the bodies still flourishes.


Musée du quai Branly - Paris (FR), Amdathtra - Lausanne (CHE), Festival Les Orientales (FR), Sfinks Festival - Boechout (BE), etc...

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