TODAY -

Bhavamochani - Image of Devi on Manipuri dance form

Rajmani Ayekpam *



Dance drama is one of the precious dance forms in the contemporary world of dance. A dance drama production needs a high quality music composition, a good script, - amazing lighting system, attractive set design, authentic and quality costume and a large number of trained artistes etc. Only a few dance organization can meet these essential conditions for producing a dance drama.

Moreover, a huge budget is also needed for production of a dance drama. So, a sponsorship is needed for producing a dance drama. Most of the dance organizations in Manipur have financial constraints. So, any dance drama production is hardly seen in the limelight now-a-days.

Music composer or director is the most important person in any dance drama production next to director or choreographer of the production. Though Manipur has a good number of musicians any musician hardly come up to the level of music composer or director. Being a music composer or director of a dance drama is a big challenge to every musician of the State.

A few years ago, some noted dance drama productions were there in the State. Few choreographers or directors are worth to remember but music composer or director are hardly remembered. It is known that without a good music a dance drama cannot be successful.

A good and strong script is also an important part for producing a dance drama. Fifty percent success is on the line if one has a good script. As there are good number of script writer in other fields of art forms like theatre, shumang leela, film, song etc. a good script writer for dance drama is hardly seen. After late MK Binodini, a noted writer of Manipur, any script writer for dance drama has hardly come up at.

Manipur has a good number of dancers, artistes, scholars but hardly anyone at the level of good choreographer. Three or four Government dance institutions are in the State including two Universities and also having a large number of private organizations, groups, associations but there's no training institution for choreographers in the State. So, to search a choreographer for producing a dance drama is a challenge to many dance organizations.

Budget is also one of the important factors for not producing many dance drama production in the State. For producing a dance drama a sponsorship is needed. Say, a funding agency sanctions one lakh or little more amount for production of a dance drama. When the dance drama is produced the expenditure exceeds five lakhs. So, now-a-days, any dance group or organization in the State has no interest in producing a dance drama production.

Among these unfavourable conditions the Progressive Artiste Laboratory (PAL), is the only dance organization in the State which is bravely maintaining the tradition of dance drama in the State. On 12th June, 2022, the Progressive Artiste Laboratory (PAL), Lamboi Khongangkhong, UK Road, Imphal, presented its newest production of dance drama 'Bhavamochani' at the auditorium of PAL under the sponsorship of Ministry of Culture, New Delhi, Govt, of India on the occasion of its 47th Annual Function. Shri N Tiken Singh was the script writer, music composer and director of the dance drama while Sinam Basu was the choreographer.

The participating artistes on stage were
S Basu (Heiheiya), E Joshirani (Aekabali), S Sangita (Sakhi),
M Malemnganba (Kalketu), Nava Durga - A Chanchan (Seilaputri),
Bijeta S (Brahmacharini), RK Elizabeth (Chandraghanta),
L Sapana (Kushmanda), S Pumima (Skandhamata), P Sadhana (Katyarani),
S Monika (Kalaratri), Moneyka N (Sidhichartri),

Chorus : Female - S Anita, M Kajal, H Sanju, N Ibetombi, Aprila N, Ksh Jerina,
Male - G Ranjan Sharma, Y Rabindra, A Ananda, A Bidyasagar,

Modem Dancer : M Dijen, Jennyson Ch, H Lalish & Deepak Th etc.
Pandit Gouramani Sharma & Amusana Shastri as Consultant.

On credit line were Chanam Kunje (Stage-Prop & Set), L Ibochoubi Singh (Light),
N Ruhichandra (Set), Musicians : L Tamphamani, Th Lansana,
Sunibala, & Dipu (vocal). L Nelson (sitar), Sky (Sarod), Bishe (Mandolin),
H Nisheshwor (Pena Meghachandra (flute), L Prithibiraj (Yangkahui) Niseshwor ,
N. Ashakiran & Yaipu (violin), Tenao RK Upendro & Sh Mahanta Sharma (percussionist),
O Geet (keyboard), H Nisheshwor & Tenao HD (Asst. Music Director),
O. Bobby (Sound Engineer), Saterjit Thiyam (Co-choreographer),
RK Chinglesana (Music Arranger), RK Elizabeth & S Pumima (costume & make-up) etc.

The story of this dance drama 'Bhavnamochani' was based on the nine slokas of Nava Durga and a small story Power of Nava Durga is celebrated at various parts of India including Durga Puja in Manipur for five days. However, the concept and philosophy of Nava Durga may not be understood by many of us. If we go through Devi Bhagavad the power of women is clearly explained.

Whenever the world is in' trouble Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar saved the world by using power of women ie Devi power. The script and director of the dance drama wisely connected the contemporary power of Meira Paibi of Manipur with the spiritual power of Devi.

The Meira Paibi guarded their sons and husbands even in the late hours holding torches in their hand and protecting them from the unwanted incidents. It's very important to go view women empowerment of present day with spiritual power of early days together to maintain identity of this country.

A successful dance drama depends on team efforts. The team efforts of choreography, colorful lighting design, haunting music, amazing set design, attractive costume design and well organized artistic presentation make this dance drama worthy of witnessing and will be remembered in the memory of audiences for a long time.

Skillful use of contemporary and classical dances is also another attraction of this dance drama. The heavy turnout on the day of the premiere was the highlight of this dance drama.


* Rajmani Ayekpam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on July 22 2022 .



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