IMPHAL, February 8: The aesthetic greatness of Manipuri classical dance and its associated art forms lies in the ethnic mooring of the Manipuri soil and the ingenuity of the artists in adopting varied flavours.
This was stated by Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, acclaimed dancer of the State delivering the 4th MK Binodini Memorial Lecture on “Dance of Poetry, Poetry of Dance” to an enrapt audience here today evening at the Open Air Theatre of Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal.
The lecture was organised by the Maharaj Kumari Binodini Devi Foundation in association with LEIKOL and supported by the government of Manipur.
Singhajit in his lecture dwelt on the intricacies of Natya Sastra, which is considered to be one of the earliest Indian treaties on performing art.
He said the Natya Sastra has laid down nine important principles or ‘Rasa’, however the Manipuri dance and its associated art forms has evolved its aesthetic elements beyond it. It is the contribution of the gurus and artistes who were highly creative and dedicated to art, he added.
He maintained that performance of Manipuri dance can be considered secular though ‘Bhakti’ philosophy of the Vaishnav is very much attached as its undercurrent theme. The religious atmosphere of the temple cannot be brought into the stage by using props, it should be taken purely as performance, he said.
As an interlude to Singhajit’s lecture artists of the JNMD Academy performed sankirtan based song and dance accompanied by pung and pena, which enriched the deliberation.
Chief Minister O Ibobi, who was the chief guest of the Memorial Lecture released ‘On Air: Khonjel Lila Binodinigi’, a book on MK Binodini’s radio plays, edited jointly by Chongtham ongbi Kamala and Dr Bishnulatpam Tarunkumari and published by Imasi Publications.
Delivering the chief guest’s speech, O Ibobi exhorted the contributions made by MK Binodini through her literary works. He considered it a privilege to be able to attend a public gathering organised in commemoration of the feted writer. Though the writer is no longer with us but her work has made her alive, he said, adding that she is fondly remembered by the people of Manipur of all sections as ‘Imasi’ for her love and compassion.
The Memorial Lecture was attended by a host of scholars and artistes. Later in the evening, artist of JNMD Academy presented ‘Loktak Isei – A Ballad on Loktak’. The script of the play is written by MK Binodini and its original choreography is by Th Babu Singh.