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Festival of Dance and Music

JNMDA's Festival of Dance and Music
From: Atom Samarendra Singh
E-pao Correspondent

The recently concluded Festival of Dance and Music, which was held during 27-29th March last, was a well-provoked platform to interact different artistes of dance and music from various diverse cultural roots of India together.

The three-day-long festival was organized by Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy and was held at its auditorium. The festival under the banner of JNMDA Festival of Dance and Music was sponsored by Central Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi. Some of prominent artistes of Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi and Hindustani Music (Vocal and Instrumental) who are distinguished at the national level have participated in the festival. Local artistes have also exploded their talents in the festival.

The festival was formally inaugurated by His Excellency Ved Marwah, Governor of Manipur and the inauguration function was attended among others by theatre fame, Padmashree Ratan Thiyam and renown writer, Padmashree MK Binodini. Speaking at the occasion Marwah heaped accolades on Manipur's rich and varied cultural heritage saying that various forms of Manipuri dance, martial arts and music which constitute an integral part of Manipur's culture, is undoubtedly well-known not only in the country but all over the world. Our performing artistes have been our best-known ambassadors since they have been portraying the multi-faceted socio-cultural image of this beautiful State and also of our country through the medium of dance and music. Marwah also stated that the process of interaction between different cultures should enrich the people because all great cultures are integrative and not divisive.

The festival actually kicked off with the presentation of Nupipala by A. Gayatri Devi and her group welcoming the audience in the jam-packed hall followed by H Rina Devi, a senior artiste of Jagoi Marup and Sh Nimita Devi, also of Jagoi Marup showing their charismatic performance in classical Manipuri dance. RK Sobita Devi of Progressive Artistes Laboratory also performed Manipuri dance. The concentration of the audience was then altered to Kuchipudi performed by Swapnasundari, founder Director of Kuchipudi Dance Centre, Andhra Pradesh. The day one was ended with the Vocal recital by one Mumbaite Ashwini Bhide Despande.

Day two was on the track with the presentation of Manipuri dance performed by M Sorojini Chanu, another promising and talented young artiste of the Performing Artistes Centre, Khurai. The congested hall was exploded with clapping when S Noyonshakhi Devi of JNMDA showed enthralling performance of Manipuri dance. She has acted in more than twenty dance dramas and had performed the role of Radha in the world fame Ras Leela presented by the Academy for the last twenty years. Another sight was then witnessed by the audience when Rani Khanam performed Kathak who is one of the foremost Kathak exponents of India. This was followed by Tabla by Dr T Shyamacharan and vocal recital by Rita Ganguly.

The last day began with Th Ibemubi Devi, one of the founder artistes the Academy's Ballet Unit, now the Production Unit of JNMDA presenting Manipuri dance. She had 20 main roles in Dance Drama production of JNMDA. She was also on of the artistes to act in film Sangai - The Dancing Deer . Manipuri Nartanalaya's L Manorama Devi, who is presently undergoing the traditional "Gurukulavas" at the residence of Guru Bipin Singh, performed next. Following this, Odissi dance was performed by Sangeeta Das who is running a school of Odissi dance at Pondichery. The curtain was down with the vocal recital by Dr Bidyapati Sharma.

The three-day national festival of dance was well attended and widely covered by local media both electronic and print. The performances were highly appreciated by the public specially those besotted to dance and music. The sorry state of affairs that have disheartened many was the low seating capacity of the auditorium.

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