My letter for the Day is ‘M’
Today, we will talk about India’s one of the popular classical dance forms. The origin of this dance form is ‘Manipur’. Yes, I am talking about ‘Manipuri Dance’. Generally, the love inspired drama of ‘Radha & Krishna’ called Raslila is the main theme of this dance. Apart from that Shaivism, Shaktism these are also performed by the dancers.
Manipuri dance has its root in ‘Natya Shastra’, an age old Sanskrit Hindu text. In ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’, where the native dance experts of Manipur are referred as ‘Gandharvas’. So the dancers think themselves descendants of Gandharvas who were fabulous dancers and musicians in Lord Indra’s holy courts.
The dancers perform this dance to show complete religious zeal, poise and sublime beauty through their moves and gestures.
How to perform this dance?
The Manipuri dance form symbolizes delicate, graceful movements. Dancers always make round movements, no jerks and straight lines. It can be performed in solo, duet and group dance too. The dancers perform different steps and weave patterns to show the uniformed choreographic performance.
In Manipuri Dance, the following musical instruments are used:
Pung (a barrel drum), a singer, small kartals (cymbals), sembong, harmonium, a stringed instrument called the pena and wind instrument such as a flute.
The Manipuri dance costume has some unique features. The female dancers are dressed like Manipuri Bride, in Potloi costumes. The women wear a barrel shaped long skirt stiffened at the bottom and loose on the top. This is called ‘Kumil’. This skirt is embellished with gold and silver embroidery, mirror work and border prints of lotus, Kwaklei orchid etc.
The Kumil is bordered at the top with undulant thin translucent top skirt shaped like an open flower; it is tied in Trikasta (three places) around the waist (front, back and one side) with spiritual symbolism of the ancient Hindu texts. The upper part of the body is dressed in velvet blouse and head covered in a white translucent veil. Like other classical dancers, they do not wear ankle belt.
They adorn the face, neck, waist, hands and legs with round jewelry ornaments or flower garlands that flow with the dress symmetry.
The male characters wear dhoti (also called dhotra or dhora). It is broadcloth pleated, wrapped and tied at waist and allowing the dancers for comfortable leg movements. The Krishna character wears a peacock feather containing crown, with a feathery attachment at the back.
Sharing here some videos of Manipuri Dance:
See what dance form I have shared for the letter ‘L’
What will be my next dance form for the letter ‘N’?
This post is in association with #BlogchatterA2Z
Are you enjoying this #DanceKaPunchnama? Please comment below.
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22 thoughts on “Manipuri Dance – A to Z Challenge April 2018 #DanceKaPunchnama”
Interesting details about the Manipuri dance. Raslila themes are always emotional and so beautiful.
despite being an indian I barely knew about the Manipuri gem of a dance!! Lovely insight in to the art!!
M always fascinated by these colourful dance forms and the beautiful dresses they wear. Thanks for sharing so much details.. N for Naga dance???
no…:) 🙂 it is Nachni.. a folk dance
Wow.. i am loving this series. Absolutely love the level of research and detail into every post. Thanks this is really informative
Very little did I know about this dance form but your post was very insightful and I loved watching these videos.
This post is so informative and one can see the immense respect you have for the dance form. I’d recommend you read a book called Rasia by Koral Dasgupta tho it is about bharatnatyam yet a dancer will love reading the work.
This is a very well researched article on Manipuri dance. I have been lucky enough to receive guidance from my dance guru on the basics of this beautiful dance form.
This is something new to me. I have heard about Manipuri dance but never knew so much details about this dance form, everything from their choreography to their costumes to the instruments used is so overwhelming. Loved reading through your post.
Good to know so much about Manipuri dance. To me the costumes are really fascinating. great form of dance.
my dad was in manipur before he was married and he used to tell us so many stories abt the people, and their lifestyle. your post bought back the stories to life 🙂
Like many I am yet to experience this dance form in person. Because I know it’s not gonna happen soon I love coming back to read your posts.
I have heard about this dance form since I was a student, but never got a chance to watch it yet! This sounds so amazing!
Manipuri dance looks colorful.. Thanks for sharing this information with us
I love this concept of yours. I tried doing a similar thing in terms of books but it was soo hard to keep it going. Extremely glad that you are halfway through this.
I like this concept of yours Definitely scrolling back to all the previous posts that I have missed. Your post definitely brings back the cultural side of India dance form.
I have seen this dance a lot on Doordarshan TV when I was young but didn’t know so much detail about the dance form. The dress has always been so intriguing. Thank you for such a lovely and detailed post about one of our regional dance forms. Its such a great way to know more about different cultures.
You’ve chosen an awesome theme. I have a lil idea about this dance but after reading your post I’ve good idea of this form.
Manipuri dance form is so graceful. Glad to know some unknown facts about this dance form
Manipuri dance has very delicate gestures unlike the strong movements of bhaat natyam.
I love the dance forms of india! And the costume of Manipuri dance is my favourite! Love it!
I’m always amazed by the costumes and makeup of Manipuri dance. This is indeed true classic of India