Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham : A Short Biography


Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham
Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham


Name : Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham
Residence: Imphal. Manipur, India
Education: Don Bosco School, Imphal
Date of birth 5th September 1946
Date of expiry 13th April 2016
Occupation: Theatre/Film Director, Actor, Writer, Playwright
Spouse: Geetabali Toijam (1982-till death)
Children: Two
Notable works: Eche Sakhi, (Direction) 1986, (Film)
Awards: Natya Ratna of Manipur Sahitya Parisad, Imphal


Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham (5th Sept 1946 - 13 April 2016) was an Indian playwright, theatre/film director, writer, actor, astrologer born in Imphal, Manipur. He was a top icon of Manipuri Kala (Arts), Sanskriti (Culture) and Sahitya (Literature) as claimed by many noted top artist, intellectual and fellow scholars.

He is an alumnus of National School of Drama, Delhi during his early age. He was the founder and director of 'Avant Garde' theatre in Imphal where he had trained many theatre artists in Imphal and from other parts of India. He was one of the theatre personalities who produced many actors and actresses in the field of theatre and film industry.

He was a firm believer in working of his cultural roots and tried to imbibe the Manipuri tradition and culture in many of his works. Sanakhya Ebotombi wrote many articles, books on Nata Sankirtan, short stories, plays, etc. and delivered lectures relating to theatre, nata sankirtan, Manipuri rasa, Manipuri culture etc. His book on Nata Sankirtan was w idely acclaimed as the most authoritative one of its kind (Sankirtana encompasses an array of arts performed to mark religious occasions and various stages in the life of Manipuri Vaishnavites. It is practised at the centre of temples, where performers narrate the lives and deeds of Krishna through songs and dances).

He also claimed "Lai Haraoba as the oldest theatre tradition of Manipur in one of his publications (Lai Haraoba, the oldest theatre tradition of Manipur, EZCC, 1988). Sanakhya Ebotombi mainly focused on raising and promoting many young local talents for theatre and film and has numerous followers. He was one of the eight prominent members who represented the Indian contingent in the Indian Festival held in Moscow, Russia during the late 80ís.

To the surprise of many, he declined to accept State Kala Academy and other awards conferred on him. However, he did receive two awards viz. Natya Ratna awarded by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad in May 2007 and Neta Irabot memorial award in September 2012, that too after he was persistently persuaded by many of his young students and scholars.


o Acted and directed plays for Aryan Theatre, 1964-1973
o Founded Avant Garde Theatre Imphal, 1972
o Studied Tribal Ritual Theatre of Manipur, 1976-1979
o Founded National Theatre Studies Imphal, 1980
o Studied Vaisnavite Theatre of Manipur, 1980-1985
o Conducted theatre workshops, 1976-1996
o Experimented on Theatre of Essence, 1985
o Studied on Tala System of Nata Sankirtana 1993

Plays Directed (Selected Few):

o The Cage (Manipuri), Mario Fratti, Aryan Theatre, 1971
o Waiting for Godot (Manipuri), Samuel Becket, Avant Garde, 1977
o Andha Yug (Manipuri), Dharmabir Bharati, Sate Kala Akademi, 1987
o Shantata Court Chalu Ahe (Manipuri), Vijay Tendulkar, Avant Garde, 1979
o Caucasian Chalk Circle (Manipuri), Bertolt Breechit, Avant Garde, 1980
o Baki Itihas (Hindi), Badal Sircar, National School of Drama, 1981
o Adhe Adhure (Manipuri), Mohan Rakesh, Avant Garde, 1981
o The Seagul (Manipuri), Anton Chekov, Khoriphaba Artistes Assn. 1982
o Leharon ke Raj Hansa (Manipuri), Mohan Rakesh, Chorus Repertory Theatre, 1983
o Abhigyan Sakuntalam, Kalidas (Hindi), National School of Drama, 1986
o Khamba Yelhou, Mani Mairembam, E. Department, 1986
o Abhigyan Sakuntalam (Hindi), Kalidas, Ranga Mandal, Bharat Bhawan, 1987
o Kangleipakta Sunugi Paphal (Translation Manipuri), Bertolt Breechit
o Swapana Vasabadatam (Hindi), National School of Drama, 1993
o Kakhraba Kokyam, G.C. Tongbra, Avant Garde,1994
o Aashad Ka Ek Din (Manipuri), Mohan Rakesh, IPA, (Realistic), 1995
o Aashad Ka Ek Din (Hindi), Mohan Rakesh, NSD, (Non Realistic/Experiment), 1996

Theatre Workshops Conducted:

o For Aryan Theatre Imphal, sponsored by MSKA, 1976
o For Rupmahal Artist Association, sponsored by MSKA, 1977
o For Manipur Dramatic Union, sponsored by MSKA, 1977
o For Social Dramatic Union, sponsored by MSKA, 1978
o For Apunba Saktam Artist Association, sponsored by MSKA, 1978
o For Prince Theatre, sponsored by MSKA, 1978
o For Sangeet Natak Mandir, Nambol, sponsored by MSKA, 1979
o For Kumbi Dramatic Union, sponsored by MSKA, 1979
o For Kha-Manipur Dramatic Union, Kakching, sponsored by MSKA, 1979
o For Lairenkabi Dramatic Union, sponsored by MSKA, 1980
o For National School of Drama, 1981
o For National School of Drama, 1986
o Tangkhul Language Theatre Workshop with Tangkhul Actors, Jan-Feb, 1987
o For Ranga Mandal, Bharat Bhawan, 1987
o Paite Language Theatre Workshop with Paite Actors, Jan-Feb, 1989
o Mao Language Theatre Workshop with Mao Actors, April-May, 1990
o For National School of Drama, 1993
o For National School of Drama, 1999

Seminar Papers Presented:

o Perspective on Experimental Theatre in Manipur, Theatre Centre Manipur, Oct, 1977
o Ritual Traditions and Theatre, Rural Theatre Organisation, 1979
o Theatre of the Tribal Folks of Manipur, State Kala Akademi Manipur, 1980
o Tribal Theatre in Manipur, Institute of People's Action, Manipur, September, 1984
o Folk Theatre Trend in Manipur, Panthoibi Natya Mandir, 1984
o Purva Ranga in Manpuri Nata Sankirtana (Dhrumel), Kalidas Akademi Ujjain, 1984
o Lai Haraoba, the oldest theatre tradition of Manipur, EZCC Kolkata 1986
o The New trend of Manipuri Shastriya Nritya, Guru Atomba Institute, Imphal, 1984
o Western tradition of Play Writing and GC Tongbra, Society Theatre, 1999
o On the track of evolving a new trend of Theatre, Panthoibi Natya Mandir, 2000
o Nata Sankritana Today, Gulapi Nata Akademi, 2006

Memorial Lectures:

o Nata Sankritana in the light of Bharata Natya Shastra, 98th Birth Anniversary of Pandit Raj Atombapu, 1987
o Nata Sankritana and Pandit Raj Atombapu, 99th Birth Anniversary of Pandit Raj Atombapu, 1988
o Pandit Raj Atombapu's contribution on Manipuri culture, Birth centenary celebration, 1989
o Manipuri Rasa in the light of Bharata Natya Shastra, Pandit Raj Atombapu centenary celebration


o Memigi Doctor, collection of short stories, 1964
o Sandhya, Manipuri novel, 1969
o Slogan, Manipuri play, 1971
o Tamnalai, Anthology of Poetry, 1972
o Manipurda Theatre Amasung Drama, National Theatre Studies, 1987
o Footprints of Manipuri Theatre and Drama, 1987
o Holi Sankritana, 1986
o Theatre and Fine Arts upon Describing Arts, 1987
o Short play of Mario Fratti, 1988
o World Introduction of Manipuri Dance, 1983
o Jagoishabi Loishang, 1982
o Fine Arts and Theatre, 1982
o Lai Haraoba, 1988
o The Aesthetic of Khoi at Phanek Mapal, 1999
o Adhivas and Drumel in Manipuri Nata Sankritana, 2002
o A Retrospection on the Tala Theory of Nata Sankritana, 2002
o Nata Sankritana Taala, 2002
o Bhagi Pareng Achouba, 2007
o Nata Sankritana, 2009

Films directed:

o Eche Sakhi (feature Manipuri) 1986
o Totankam (documentary in English) 1990
o Yaoshang (documentary in English) 1991
o Manipuri Gorkhas (documentary in English) 1991
o Loktak Lake (documentary in English) 2005

* Daniel Chabungbam provided this information to
This article was posted on March 26, 2018.

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