A rare delight captures hearts

A rare delight captures hearts

Powerful expressions

A rare delight captures hearts

A Manipuri dance troupe called Chalormi, meaning moving waves, presented a set of seven pieces during their recent performance in the City.

What was evident through the evening was the energy and the synchronised movements of the dancers. The dancers began with Dasavatar, an invocation to Lord Vishnu. They were dressed in colourful clothes with yellow as the main theme. 

They performed in tandava style, which showcased the technical difference between tandava and lasya. The troupe changed their costumes for each of the performances to be in tune with the characters of each piece.

 “In one of our performances, we depict how the earth was levelled in ancient times. We jump and at times, stamp the ground,” explained Baishali Gupta, the lead dancer. 

In another piece, titled Mandila Nartan, the dancers played small cymbals. “The song describes how beautiful it is to see Radha and Krishna seated on a golden swing and the sakhis play different instruments such as dampha, tanpura, jhajuri for them,” added Baishali. And the dancers beautifully depicted the love between Radha and Krishna. 

The dancers then moved on to enact the merriment of gods after they created the universe. This was depicted through Lai-Haraoba, a festival of Manipur. “Lai-Haraoba or the ritual festival is celebrated every year in May and June. It is the root of Manipuri dance of today. Most dance movements evolved from that,” observed Baishali. The dancers performed, Khamba Thoibi Jagqi, an excerpt from Lai-Haraoba. 

Explaining the piece, Baishali said, “Khamba and Thoibi are the universal lovers of Manipur and they dance in praise of their lords in archaic Manipuri language. The piece ends in a tug-of-war between boys and girls. Dholak and Pena (an age-old, one-stringed instrument) were the main musical instruments played here.” 

Baishali then performed a solo in Manipuri style. “My solo performance is on Rabindra Sangeeth and is a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore. It was only because of him that Manipuri dance got the recognition it has today,” she said.  

The last piece that was performed was Abir Khel, which was an excerpt from Vasant Ras, where the dancers depicted Krishna playing the flute on the banks of river Yamuna, all in an attempt to dance with the gopis.  

  Those in the audience thoroughly enjoyed the performances. Shekar Murthy, a music lover said, “the dancers depicted Lord Krishna in the most beautiful way. And the costume change was done gracefully.” Suma Murthy, a dancer added, “The performance had seven pieces and seven changes for the evening. It must have been really challenging to perform one piece after another. We don’t get to see Manipuri dance being performed here at all.
”The dancers in the troupe were Laxmi Banerjee, Supta Saha, Paromita Sil, Poushali Ghosh and Baishali Gupta.  

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