(Last Updated on : 21/07/2009)
Gaura Lila is operatic form of Manipuri theatre. This is regarded as a court-supported continuation of the older tradition of Sansenba, it originated in the early twentieth century using the Bengali language. Linguistic nationalism soon affected a switch to the Manipuri medium. It dramatizes the religious missions of Gaurchandra i.e. Chaitanya. Particularly the encounter of two Muslim brothers, Jogai and Madhai, with Chaitanya and his associates, culminating in their conversion to Gauriya Vaishnavism. Comic interludes of the boat journey and other incidents were included, acting and theatrical aspects were given greater prominence than dance. It gradually became extremely popular in rural and peripheral areas, which led to looser construction and lack of codification. It survives, but with far fewer performances than before. T. Kunjakishore was an award-winning exponent.
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