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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Indian Classical Dance Form- Manipuri

Manipuri Dance

Manipuri dance form finds its fairy-tale emergence in the heavenly dance of Shiva and Parvati in the valley of Manipur along with the local 'Gandharvas'. 

The dance gained prestige with the advent of Vaishnavism in the 15th century. Krishna became the dominant theme of this dance form. It is performed generally by females.

In modern times, Raja Bhag Chandra of Manipur in the 18th century tried to save Manipuri dance. Rabindranath Tagore brought back the dance form into the limelight when he introduced it in Shantiniketan, West Bengal.

Some of the attributes of Manipuri dance are as follows:

  • The faces are shielded with a thin veil and facial expression is of lesser importance.

  • The dance integrates both Tandava and Lasya, emphasis is laid on the latter.

  • The female wears unique long skirts. The focus is mainly on relax and gracious movements of hand and knee positions.

  • Nagabandha mudra, in which the body is coupled through curves in the shape of 'eight = 8' is an important posture in Manipuri dance form.

  • Ras Leela = Radha Krishna's love story is a recurring theme of the Manipuri dance recital.

  • The drum - pung - is a complex element of the recital. Flute, Karthal = wooden clapper, dhol, etc, also, accompany the music. The composition of Jayadeva and Chandidas is used extensively.

Famous proponents: Jhaveri sister - Nayana, Suvarna, Ranjana, and Darsana, Guru Bipin Singha, N Madhavi Devi, etc.

Fig: Manipuri Dance (Raas-Leela)
Fig: Nagabandha Mudra



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