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Manipuri traditional dance form Goura Leela staged in Imphal

     Imphal: Goura Leela, a traditional performing art form was recently staged in Imphal. The objective of this gala show, performed over four days, was to promote and conserve the unique dance from going into the oblivion. Goura Leela, a traditional performing art of Manipur is based on the events that took place in the life of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna and who lived in Nadia region of West Bengal, singing the praises of God and propagating Bhakti Yoga (devotion based worship). Today, many Hindus in Bengal and Manipur revere him as a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. And the entire Goura Leela is based on the life and works of Gaurnaga Mahaprabhu. Organised under the aegis of International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Manipur chapter, the programme also aimed at infusing the ethos cultural understanding and love among the present day youth. Many enthusiastic audiences from far-flung places came to witness the performance, which in the recent past had lost popular patronage. "Children of our society nowadays, the freedom and happiness was taken away by the present atmosphere. So I feel in my mind immediately that ... now is the right time to promote this Goura Leela, Sankirtan culture," said Ajit Das, President, International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Manipur chapter, Imphal. One of traditional performing arts of Manipur, Goura Leela is believed to have originated during the reign of King Churachand during the 18th century. The play can be categorised as an opera and is much influenced by Natya Sankritan (devotion through dance and singing hymns).
-July 12, 2009

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