TODAY -

Phumdigi Tantha : (Dance Drama) Synopsis by Director W. Lokendrajit Singh

*

A scene from  'Phumdigi Tantha' at Chorus Repertory Theatre, Imphal on 20th April, 2018
A scene from 'Phumdigi Tantha' at Chorus Repertory Theatre, Imphal on 20th April, 2018 :: Pix - Oken Sanasam



Choreographer's Note

"Phumdigi Tantha" is an expression of the concerns on the negative influences of humans on Nature. Development in the negative sense manifolds itself as a destructive force.

For all living forms on Earth, water is the elixir of life. Living beings thrive on fresh,undefiled water. Threat to the life of living beings looms large when the life sustaining fresh undefiled polluted and degraded.

Pollution loads like plastic waste, domestic and commercial solid wastes, chemical residue from factories, fertilizer and insecticide strains from agricultural fields all induce severe pollution that completely changes the physical character of the rivers and lakes. The free flow, meandering rivers and life providing lakes become lifeless.

The Loktak Lake, said to be the mirror of Manipuri civilization, is abstractly infected with pollution day after day. The folklore and legends of the lake are destined to get lost with the decline of this freshwater lake. Why are we humans mute spectators to this process? This perhaps gives us a new vision, a new insight to think for our future.

The silently overpowering poisonous substances that are snuffing out the life of the freshwater water bodies, are subduing the finer elements of civilization. The aesthetics of life and civilization, unable to germinate under the veil of pollution, is now a huge burden upon us. Human civilization now has become diluted, fragmented and meaningless.

This is a contribution of thoughtless humans upon Nature, just as the fertile wetlands of yesteryears like Lamphel pat, Yaral pat, Porompat, Keisham pat, Hicham Yaicham pat and Kakwa pat are degrading and disappearing with the years, would Loktak pat also suffer the same fate as these water bodies?

The production is composed of three acts with prologue and epilogue.

- Shri W. Lokendrajit Singh

A scene from  'Phumdigi Tantha' at Chorus Repertory Theatre, Imphal on 20th April, 2018
A scene from 'Phumdigi Tantha' at Chorus Repertory Theatre, Imphal on 20th April, 2018 :: Pix - Oken Sanasam



Scene-wise Summary : Phumdigi Tengtha
Prologue


A young student comes to know of the beauty of Loktak Lake after reading a poetry that his teacher taught him in school. He was intrigued with the physical changes happening to the lake. The opposite ends - one of the beauty, and the other of the degeneration of the lake- haunts him.

First Act

The opening scene visualizes the natural landscape of the lake Enfolded in the embrace of the seven goddesses - the seven Water Spirits who govern the lake, Loktak's natural sources are enshrined in its nine Isha-mapals (the nine springs). The seven goddesses protect and nourish all who seek refuge in their fold. They sometimes assume the form of birds and sometimes as fish to enjoy the warmth of the lake.

Leaves falling down in heap all of a sudden upon the lake bring dramatic changes to the character of the lake. These transform into phumdi (floating biomass) and become a characteristic feature of the lake.

It was a wonder how the phumdi came to being and became a part of the lake. The phumdis sway to and fro with the waves, delighting in the azure blue of moonlit nights. They propagate along in the course of their life-cycle, so much as males and

Second Act

Replying to the inquisitive query of her school going son on the stories relating to the Loktak Lake, the mother narrates how the Kakyen (native fowl) and the Wainu (crane) disappeared from the lake, on the legends of heroes and princesses associated with the lake, of the gods and goddesses, and of the fishers living in huts built on the floating phumdi.

Third Act

Over exploitation of the fishes using inventions of science had drained the resources of the lake. None cares not for the crisis perpetuated by the inventions of Science. The plastics that people fondly use for different purposes and randomly throw away as wastes, is slowly strangulating the Loktak Lake to death.

The birds that visit the lake in winter from as far as Siberia and Europe no longer prefer to come here. The fishes that came all the way from the Bay of Bengal to spawn in the lake no longer comes to the lake.

If it so happens that the water of the lake and all of the floating phumdi turns into plastic, what will becomc of Loktak? What will happen when all the wastes deposited in the lake continues to fill the lake year after year? It is a big question today what will be the future of the lake in the years to come, with its free flow obstructed by a dam.

Epilogue

The race between Nature and Science (developmental processes), and the consequent loss and gain from this tussle remains a perpetual question for mankind -who loses and who gains at the end.

W. Lokendrajit Singh
W. Lokendrajit Singh



Profile of W. Lokendrajit Singh

W. Lokendrajit Singh was born on 30th January, 1958.

He graduated in Choreography from Natya Institute of Choreography, New Delhi.

He has retired as Head of the Production Unit, JNMDA recently.

He has choreographed and directed several dance dramas.

He received Fullbright Scholarship (USA) and many awards including Manipur State Kala Akademi Award in 2007 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2016 in the field of Creative & Experimental dance etc.

See a full photo Gallery of the Play here


* This article was provided to e-pao.net by Oken Sanasam
This article was posted on May 06, 2018.


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