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E-Pao! Top Stories :: Manipuri artists showcase Manipuri culture at "Bangalooru Habba 2007"

Manipuri artists showcase Manipuri culture at "Bangalooru Habba 2007"



"Bangalooru Habba 2007" (1st December - 4th December) kicked off true to sprit. The Bangalooru Habba opened at the Chitrakala Parishad (Bangsalore art college) on a sunny friday to the energy and vitality of Kannanda, Manipuri, Rajasthani and Andra Pradesh Folk Dance on the one hand, and on the other to the colorful and intricate craft of the immensely skilled artisan communities of Manipur, and South India.

Bangalooru Habba Mela has been going on since the last 20 years and Folk Dance Mela was introduced in 2000. Director of the Kala Madyam, main organizer, Mrs. Munira Sen says, "The sprit of this mela is to promote the traditional folk and tribal dances of this country. We are introducing folk culture to the world the world is introducing the folk tradition into the market."

Kabui Dance performance


She further said to me, "in this mela, we want to bring closer between then audience and artists. We don't want to create a big gap between the stage and audience. That is why we are focusing on folk and tribal dance in this Mela".

She clarifies, "this is your mela not our mela. We are very happy that the Manipuri Dance Group has agreed to be part of this mela with a small budget. I have never seen any of the Manipuri Dances before but, after I saw Manipuri Handicraft products, it came to my mind to bring Manipuri dancer in our mela. Yes, I have heard about Manipuri dance from my friends before."

Manipuri dances group was represented by 'Nimita Devi Nitya Ashram' Sagolband Vijoy Govinda, Manipur. She was invited through Dhanabati, an artist based in Delhi.

There are two cultural session in the mela, 11 AM to 1.30 PM (morning) and 4 PM to 8 PM (evening).

Manipuri Dhon Dholok Cholom, Lai Haraoba of Maibi and Khamba Thoibi Jagoi, Kabui Jagoi (Khoigu Na-Laam), Manipuri Martial Arts, Telangana Drum Dance from Karnakaka, Rajasthani folk song and dance from Rajasthan, Dappu dance from Andhra Pradesh are the main programs at the Bangalooru Habba.

In Manipur Martial Arts, Thang Leitang Haiba, Thang Ani Yannaba, Thang Ahum Yannba, Thang Ta Chainaba were the main items performed by Ningthoujam Premjit, Thokchom Jotin and Hirom Premkumar.

Maibi Jagoi was performed by Roji and Sijagurumayum Soni, Khamba Thoibi Jagoi was performed by Songlakpam Reema, Sijagurumayum Soni, Bramacharimayum Ranjana, Khumukcham Romen, Thingnam Dhaneshwor and Suraj.

Dhon-dholok Cholom was performed by Khumukcham Romen (Dolok), Khumukcham Shamchand (dolok) and Thingnom Dhaneshwor (dhol). Kabui and Lai Haraoba performer are same. Introductory speech of each Manipuri program is given by Seram Rojesh.

Manipuri performance is appreciated by the audience in the mela. People are very glad to see the folk dance of India particularly Manipuri- martial arts and dol dolok cholom.

Mrs Anne Dheygers from United Kingdom said to me, "it was really a great and surprise to see how Manipuri artists are performing with sword and spare in that forms. Now I wish to visit Manipur physically. I have been to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh but not in Manipur."

Group photo of Khamba Thoibi Dancers.


We could sense from the overwhelming clapping from the audience after each performance. Some ladies were imitating while performing by the artists of Nimala Devi Nritya Ashram from Manipur.

Nimeta Devi Nritya Ashram was recently established by Nimeta - a prominent artist of Manipuri Classical Solo Dance. Since 1979 till today, Nimeta Devi has given more than one thousand five hundred shows all over the country and abroad.

Her latest stint was in Japan from 1st May 2007 to 30th June. She gave performances (as a member and lead dancer of the Manipuri Jagoi Marup) throughout the Japanese archipelago.

During the course of the tour, she conducted and participated in workshops.

Nimita Devi became listed in the empanelment of the Indian Council for Cultural Relation (ICCR) on 6.7.1990. She became the National Scholarship holder in Manipuri Dance under Department of Culture, New Delhi in 1994.

She was awarded the prestigious "Ustaad Bis Millah Khan Yuva Puraskar" Award in 2006 for continuous contribution on the field of performing art culture.

Check out the picture gallery on this festival here.

Note: Bangalore is now called "Bangalooru" by the state Government of Karnataka.


Seram Rojesh, from Bengalooru, provided this information . He can be contacted at dajes_m(at)yahoo(dot)com . This was webcasted on December 03rd, 2007


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