Manipuri is a very beautiful classical dance which has strings attached to the state of Manipur. It is an integral part of the people living in the mountains. It has become a custom to keep a dance performance during weddings and homage to ancestors.
The origin of this dance relates to a ritual dance Lai Haroba but in the present scenario it has gained more popularity than it pre successor because of high artistic and technical standards. Latter it gained popularity in other parts of India by the efforts of Guru Rabindranath Tagore.
This dance is truly devotional in nature. Watching this dance gives a spiritual experience. It is also one of the most meaningful dances of the world. In addition to that it is mostly performed in groups but solo performances are limited in number. Two dance styles of Manipuri are very popular. First is Lasya – the female style and second is tandava – the male style. There are different forms of Manipuri dance which includes Ras Lila, the Pung Cholom, Nupa Cholom, Thoibi.
Ras Lila: It is a devotional theme dance which revolves around Lord Krishna and Radha. This shows the magnificent dance of Krishna and the cowherd girls. The dancers are dressed in embroidered skirts which covered their waist and goes down to their ankle. The dancers also wear veils which cover their head and face. The dancer who portrays the character of Krishna wears a tall peacock feather crown which adds a radiant appearance to this dance. This dance shows the intense love of Radha for Lord Krishna. This dance is performed in a temple. The performances are solo duet and group dances.
Legends of Manipuri Dance
Guru Bipin Singh
He was a director, choreographer and teacher of Manipuri dance. He began training in his childhood and focussed on Manipuri dance. He created a couple of schools where student can learn this classical art.