Classical Indian musical theatre is a sacred art of the Hindu temple culture. It is performed in different styles. Classical Indian musical theatre had a profound influence on shaping the conventions of Indian popular cinema, particularly in Bollywood and South Indian musical films. Manipuri dance also known as Jagoi is one of the major Indian classical dance forms representing the Indian musical theatre. Here are some things we should know about this form of art.
It is particularly known for its Hindu Vaishnavism themes, and exquisite performances of love-inspired dance drama of Radha-Krishna called Raslila. the dance is also performed to themes related to Shaivism, Shaktism and regional deities such as Umang Lai during Lai Haraoba.
According to the traditional legend, the indigenous people of the Manipur valley were the dance-experts revered as Gandharvas in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, suggesting a dance tradition has existed in Manipur since antiquity.
The Manipuri dance is a team performance, with its own unique costumes, aesthetics, conventions and repertoire.
The dance drama choreography shares the plays and stories of ‘Vaishnavite Padavalis’, that also inspired the major Gaudiya Vaishnava-related performance arts found in Assam and West Bengal.
The dances are celebrated on full moon nights, three times in autumn and once in spring.
The musical accompaniment for Manipuri dance comes from a barrel drum, a singer, small cymbals, sembong, harmonium, a stringed instrument called the pena and a flute.
The costume tradition of the Manipuri dance celebrates its more ancient artistic local traditions, fused with the spiritual ideas embedded in the love story of Radha-Krishna.
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