Manipuri Classical Dance
Manipuri dance is one of the most beautiful and Classical dance styles of India. It belongs to the mountainous region of the North-east and the name of the dance came from the name of this area, Manipuri. According to the ancient scripts, the gods excited when they saw this beautiful place and want to enjoy at the place by dancing. So that the gods drained a lake in the beautiful countryside in order to find a place to dance.
Manipuri literally means a jewel of land. The dance performed during the wedding days and at the time of paying homage to their ancestors. Naturally, the area spreads with greenery and situated with beautiful locations.
The tradition of Lai Haroba caused to create the present Manipuri folk dance. Still, we can see the tradition of Lai Haroba in some areas in the state. The dancers perform this art as a group or solo presentations.
Themes of the Manipuri dance form
The themes of the dance are adopted from the Hindu mythologies. Especially Lord Krishna and Radha related stories are the themes of the dance. The Raas Leela depicts the cosmic dance of Krishna and the cowherd maidens. The dancers wear beautiful embroidered skirts, flared from the waist. Krishna’s costume is prepared specially and arrange a tall peacock feather to the crown. The dress styles of the dancers made the radiant appearance of this classical dance and they performed in sway and twirl to an ascending tempo.
Pung Cholasm is another vibrant feature of Manipuri, during this classical dance the performers play the drums and follow the classical dance. The Manipuri dance steps leap and turn to a fast rhythm.
Manipuri Dance dress and Instruments
The dancers performed the dance with the music of various instruments. Pung or Manipuri Mridanga ritual character is the main soul of the dance. The instruments are very needed in every social and devotional ceremony in Manipur and the people venerating these instruments. Pung Cholom used to perform to modulate the sound from soft whisper to a thunderous climax. The interplay of intricate rhythms and cross-rhythms with varying markings of time from the slow to the quick with graceful and vigorous body movements leading to the heights.
Maibi – Another Manipuri dance form
Maibi, is very important to the Meiteis people, who the inhabitants of the valley of Manipur. They celebrate the Lai-Haraoba festival, following strictly the traditions of their own. The people show their concept of cosmogony and describe their way of life through their classical dance.
Nupa Pala – Manipuri Folk Dance
This Nupa Pala Manipuri dance is another Classical dance form of the Manipur people. This dance is also known as Cymbal Dance, the combined form of Dance and Music and the dance movements are soft and serene. Gradually the dance movements increase to up. This classical dance performed with only male dancers. The dancers wear snow-white ball-shaped large turbans and all performed the dance by singing and dancing at the mean time. They follow the music of Mridanga and classical drum ‘Pung’. The theme of the Manipuri dance adapted from the stories of Hindu Epics.
Ras Lila dances
Ras Lila is another Manipuri Dance form, the dances are very famous and colourful. Mostly performed in the temples before the deities throughout the night. Mostly this classical dance performed on the nights of Basanta Purnima, Sarada Purnima, and Kartik Purnima at the temple of Shree Shree Govindajee in Imphal. The Ras Lila narrates the fond love of Radha for Lord Krishna as well as the sheer devotion of the Copies toward the Lord. The performance of the classical dance is in the form of solo, duet and group dances. The dancers wear colourful and costumes and the makeup attract the spectators.