Web of conflict

Web of conflict

Contemporary dance

In 2011, Surjit Nongmeikapam created a solo piece One Voice which articulated expression about torture and victim’s relationship with her body. “After this piece, there were several ideas that I wanted to execute . So I finally decided to do an assembled act for my next performance,” he says.

Born in Manipur, he was aware of the conflict his state was undergoing and its repercussions on its people, especially youth. So he decided to create his next performance ‘Nerves’ addressing issues inhabitants of this northeaster state were facing; issues that plagued the nation, but weren’t talked about much. “There are several issues people in Manipur face. When I decided to create Nerves, I immediately thought about Manipur’s youth — dancers, musicians and non-dancers as my performers,” he tells Metrolife.

“The idea was not to focus on dance techniques, but find ways to bring out inner thoughts and ideas of those who are caught in a fix,” he says.

The dance piece, based on the conflict that Manipuri people encounter on a daily basis, has won the Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance Awards in 2015. “All my performers are first-time performers and this is the reason why the movements are raw, yet strong in nature,” he says, adding it was a challenging to put the piece together.

Nongmeikapam will be performing at the upcoming ‘The Park’s New Festival’ and he says that platforms like these are important for upcoming performers. “People need to see more such performances to appreciate the thought behind them,” he says.

Nongmeikapam, who is trained in Kathak, Kalaripayattu, Manipuri dance, contemporary dance, and Thang-Ta a form of martial arts, is also interested in working with visual artists and filmmakers as collaborators. “I was fond of martial art movies since childhood. I also hope to direct action movies,” he says.

As a part of  The Park’s New Festival, Nerves will be performed at Shri Ram Centre on September 21.

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