The trips accompanying a tour to any corner of the world are a must for any traveler whatsoever, but then, a more passionate one searches for something more - a desperate peek into the culture, tradition, and originality of the region. A trip to the wonderful state of Orissa, therefore, not only includes meticulous appreciation of the Arts and Crafts of Orissa but also that of the elegant forms of the Performing Arts of Orissa. These forms bear remarkable significance and are extremely elegant to watch. Ghoomra Dance, one such dance style, has, with its strong individuality, has attained great heights of fame all over the country.
The Ghoomra Dance form is actually named after the accompanying instrument. Ghoomra means a special drum which looks like a barrel made of clay and the mouth is covered with the skin of a reptile (Godhi). This dance starts fifteen days before the Gamha Purnima, full moon in September. The dancers tie the drums with strings around their chest and play them while they dance to the tune as well.
The Ghoomra Dance takes off with light circular movements. Nisan is another kind of drum, smaller in size and played with two leather sticks. The main dancer performs at the center and the others move in concentric circles to form a straight line. These are basically performed in praise of Goddess Saraswati.
Ghoomra Dance performances are extraordinarily interesting dance forms of Orissa and any tourist would be fortunate to even have a glimpse into any one of their performances on their Tour to Orissa.