Manipuri dance

Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre recently held a Manipuri workshop under the aegis of Darshana Jhaveri of Manipuri Nartanalaya at Bharatiyam. A dancer, teacher and research scholar rolled into one, Jhaveri has been meticulously trained by Guru Bipin Singh. She is adept in both the tandava and the lasya style of Manipuri. A recipient of the Padma Shri and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, she spoke of the existence of the two simultaneous traditions of Animism and Hinduism in Manipuri dance. The Laiharoba festival invoking the village gods, is mainly the dance of the priestess describing the primitive concept of cosmology. Due to the spread of Gaudiya Vaishnavism in the last two centuries, Manipuri dance developed into a stylised, classified and dignified art form around the theme of Lord Krishna and Radha.