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Jatra

Jatra

Jatra is the Oriya version of folk theatre and comprises of a play with a cast and music, dance, acting and singing. In the olden days Jatra used to be the medium of conveying religious values to the masses. Rightly so, the themes used even today are religious, mythological and historical. With passage of time, Jatra has evolved to include everything that appeals the mass in general.

Jatra - The folk Theatre of Orissa, is performed on a simple stage with the spectators surrounding it on all sides. The chorus and the musicians take their position off stage. There are no stage properties except a single seat meant to serve various functions, as a throne, a bed or a way-side bench. The actors move in a very theatrical manner. They deliver their speeches in high-sounding words and have to be loud enough to catch the attention of the spectators seated on all sides. Consequently they adopt an exaggerated style of dialogue delivery. Their costumes glitter, their swords flash and their words thunder to the accompaniment of the crashing cymbals. Sometimes the actors are able to depict subtle emotional moods like, love, sorrow, pathos, but the element of exaggeration is always present as they have to project themselves as larger than life figures.

Jatra becomes a great source of entertainment because of its tuneful traditional music with simple melodic lines, dance sequences, songs, action and humor. Taken as a whole, the Jatra of Orissa has always remained essentially an institution of learning for the people in general.