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Manipuri

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The Dance

Performed only in temples, it was only in the 20th century that the stage performance of Manipuri Dance begun.
Manipuri dance is a devotional dance, depicting the dance compositions like Ras Lila. It is dedicated to the Hindu Dieties Radha and Krishna.

It was the Maharaja Bhagyachandra (r. 1759 – 1798 CE), who s contribution brought drastic changes in the Manipuri Dance form. He composed three of the five types of Ras Lilas, the Maha Ras and the Kunja Ras. There were performed at Sri Sri Govindaji Temple in Imphal in his reign. The elobrate costume Kumil was also designed by him. The two TYPES OF Dance - Goshtha Bhangi Pareng and the Goshtha Vrindaban Pareng were composed by Maharajah Gambhir Singh. Maharaja Chandra Kirti Singh (r. 1849 – 1886 CE) was a gifted drummer and he composed at least 64 Pung choloms (drum dances). The two parengs Lasya type, the Vrindaban Bhangi Pareng and Khrumba Bhangi Pareng were also composed by him. He also wrote Nitya Ras.

A great lot has also been contributed by the Indian Scholar and Poet Rabindara Nath Tagore.He invited Guru Budhimantra Singh from Bangladesh in 1926 to teach Manipuri Dance in Shantiniketan. Several of Rabindranaths Dance dramas were based on Manipuri Dance.

Facets Of Manipuri :
Manipuri Dance
Ras Leela - The Heart of Manipuri Dance
The Ras Leela - epitome of Manipuri Dance is based on the eternal and celestial love of Radha and Krishna . It is this love which is shown in th eform of various dance and music compositions.

Manipuri Dancer  Costume
Costume of Manipuri Dancers
The Costume worn by the lady manipuri dances is called Patoli. The lehnga is called Kumin. The veil is made of silken transparent cloth usually in off-white color.The male dancer often wears the saffron color.


Manipuri Dance
The Dance Form of Manipuri

Manipuri Dance places importance on the feet work. Its more delicate and fragile than other dance forms. More and moe of circular movements without jerks are given importance. The dances feet are neither put down nor lifted up with the rythm of the dance. Even in the dance, its the first foot which is put first, then comes the rest of the foot. The delicate, lyrical and graceful movements of the dancer makes the Manipuri dance.

Manipuri dancers do not wear ankle bells. The hands, feet movements and facial expressions should be subtle in Manipuri Dance which is different from other dances.


Musical Instruments used in Manipuri
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