Infinitely Curious

Seeking a Renaissance in San Francisco

Gaudiya Nritya

“Traditions Engaged is a major, historic festival spanning two of the U.S.’ most prominent cities in premiere venues. Featuring leading Indian classical dancers and musicians and more than sixty artists over six days. Dozens of exciting and insightful daytime performances. 18 major performers in the evening.” — CDDC

Preparing for the Traditions Engaged (TE) festival coming up on October 1-3, I will be introducing the various Indian Classical Dance forms every week, with a brief profile on the art form, a TE artist spotlight, and a schedule of upcoming festival performances. This week’s topic will include Gaudiya Nritya.

Gaudiya Nritya (or Gauriya Nritya) is one of the classical dances of India.  It originated in the Western Indian state of Bengal.  The word “Gaudiya” itself means old Bengal.  The dance form can trace its roots back to the Natyashatra, in which four Pravrittis are mentioned: Dakshinatya, Audramagadhi, Avanti, and Punchali.  The ancient traditions declined in the centuries leading up to the British Raj in India.

In the 20th century the traditions were revived and Gaudiya Nritya developed from the Audramagadhi tradition.

Traces of the dance form can also be noted in temple sculptures as early as the 4th century B.C.  Similar to other Indian classical dances, Gaudiya Nritya was passed down through the Devadasi system of Gauda Banga, the Vaishnavite Sevadasis, and Nachnis of Western Bengal.

The dance is a unique combination of history, literature, poetry, drama, music, and rhythm.  Gaudiya Nritya has elements of Chhau (heroic dance), Nachni (aspects of Shringara Rasa), Kushan (depicting stories of Lav and Kush from the Ramayana), and Kirtan (devotional aspect).

In the modern day, artists like Dr. Mahua Mukherjee continue to revive the dance at institutions like Rabindra Bharati University.


17 comments on “Gaudiya Nritya

  1. Pingback: Lectures & Discussions at Traditions Engaged « Infinitely Curious

  2. Subrata Mitra
    October 25, 2010

    Please menon the clasical dresses,ormaments used in Gaudiya nrtya.
    If there is any classical gaudiya songs please mention the same.
    Now Orissa state claimed Jayadeva the author of Geetgovinda as a man from Orissa.What about this.Ihave read the book n bangla written by Dr.Mahua Mukherjee ‘Bharatiya Nritye Trayee” where she has given a lot of arguments about the nativity of Jayadeva of Bengal.But in recent years Orissa govt issued postage stamps to celebrate the ceremony of Jayaveva of Orissa.In some of the ISKON sites they have also accepted that the Kendul Sasan of Orissa is the Brth lace of Jaydev.And in every Akshya Tritiya Iskon arranged a Kritan fair along with the govt of orissa to celebrate the birh day of the poet at Kenduli Sasan.
    I request you all serch in google site about Jayadeva and you will be surprised that the poet is fully recognised as the man from Orissa. And also Guranga Mahaprabhu is now undr this conspiracy.
    The West Bengal govt has become Ayan Ghosh. They are least concerned abou their ancient cultures,Heritage and the great men of thir soil. We the prabasi bengalis are therefore sentimentali turtured out side of the states, in the websites.
    Please think for the ancient land.culture.our renowned men,our sanskity. Many things are there to write. Please go to google site and search Jayadeva, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu there and every thisngs will be clear, how a international conspiracy is going on. Plase try to bring this to the attention of the general mass. regards

  3. shubhojit
    November 15, 2010

    Jayadev had mentioned his poem as mangal geeti and as padavali. And these two till now used in bengali literature since jayadeva’s time in Bengal. Many Nangal kabayas are there as well as Padabalis.
    Which are absent in other literature. To prove jayadeva a man form a region is to prove the literature of the region during his and after his time. Because jayadev was a poet of a region and his mind must be weaven by the literature of that region.The style of Gteet Govinda is also goudi style which is used by the poet of bengal till now.

  4. Priyabrata
    November 15, 2010

    More over vaishnava poets were at those time abstained from self propaganda. Then how temple inscriptions are to be believd that these name s are signifted jaydev of geetgovind. There might be other Jayadeva in that name who was interested for his own propaganda and was a inflential and rich one. As self propaganda is against Vaishnava philosophy of Hinduism. jayadev was a vaishnav poet.

  5. Manas
    November 16, 2010

    Sri Rasikananda, a devouted precher of vaishnavism of midnapore region of Bengal was a utkaliya karana caste had paid his visit to Kenduvillwa of Birbhoom while returning from Vrindavan.

    It is mentioed in Rasikamngal kabya by his freind. Sri Rasikananda was a preacher of Goudiya vaishnavism in Orissa soon after Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He was a diciple of Sri Shyamananda.

  6. sandeep
    November 24, 2010

    Kabi Jaydev has mentioned five names of the Poem writers of his period. Why not the researchers go deep in to the lives of these personalities.
    Then the pictures will come true.
    It was a custom of the few years back that Nirmalya from Puri temple was sent to Kenduvilwa villga of Birbhum,on the day of Makar Sankranti for celebration of death anniversery of Kabi Jayadev. After reaching of the Nirmalya the Death Celebarion would have been started. But after politicising of the birth place, the custom was also with drawn. All the old generations of Kenduvilwa were stll rememberring of the custom.

  7. Dipendu
    November 24, 2010

    It is also said that the Birth day of Kabi Jayadev has been celebating in Vridavan every year on the day of Shree Panchami ( Saraswati Puja) by the devotees of Kabi Jayadev.It is a continueing process as Kabi Jayadev was breath his last at Vrindavan.

  8. Dipendu
    November 30, 2010

    Goudiya Nritya is attached with a perticular god form such as Radha Madhav,Vasudev etc which will give a complete set.

  9. Dipendu
    November 30, 2010

    More over Goudiya Nritya shuold be enriched with the songs,Ragas & Taals of Geeta Govinda by Jayadeva. Then it will reach its adulsence period.

  10. Subhojit
    April 5, 2011

    what does Gove of W.Bengal do for the her rich dance culture?
    Why not the cultural minister take it for consideraton?
    It could only be reached to the general mass only through the patronage of Govt of W.Bengal.
    West Bengal political leaders should gve up fighting amongst and killing the general masses and should do some thing bettere for its lost cultural heritage.

  11. rahul
    April 13, 2011

    why not dd bangla Tv not telecasting Goudiya nritya on a regular basis to its weekly time table. Is DD bangla gone for hibernation?

  12. rahul
    April 19, 2011

    I personally request Dr.Mahua Mukherjee to carry on her battle for establishing Gaudiya Dance form into a classical group.

  13. rahul
    April 19, 2011

    become bharotiya. they do not like their culture rather waste their money travelling india and aboard in search of other cultural heritage and perform in aproud way,leglecting their own. Are not it a shameful practice?
    First my own thein others. and this is natural.JAGORE BANGAli jago!!!!!

  14. abesh
    September 4, 2011

    gaudia nrittya is such a rich dance frm from bengal,bt many of our country men is not known to gaurya nrittya.
    choo chad

  15. Devojit
    September 16, 2011

    Why not Ku. Mamata Banerjee Ch Min of P.Banga is not showing her interest to establish Goudiya Nritya as a Indian classical Dance? aAnd she should have shown her special interst to fight for Goswami Jaidev as a poet from P.Banga? She should.

  16. Rakesh
    September 16, 2011

    Goudiya Nritya needs Bengal Govt’s patronage for its alround development.It is their responsibility for propagate the Classical Dance culture of Bengal.

  17. Learn Gaudiya Nritya Live Online at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Blog Stats

  • 183,425 hits


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 171 other followers

Flickr Photos

%d bloggers like this: