‘Padmashri’ Darshana Jhaveri and her troupe present Manipuri Dance, an Indian classical dance form which she brought forth from obscurity over the past five decades, along with her three sisters, the world renowned Jhaveri Sisters. Guided during his lifetime by Guru Bipin Singh, Darshana has illuminated the intricacies and beauty of her chosen art form for audiences in Japan, India, U.K., France, Malaysia, Russia and the U.S.
Originating from the north eastern region of India, Manipuri dance is characterized by its own distinctive movement vocabulary, costumes and musical traditions. The items presented will incorporate the two main divisions of Manipuri dance: Lasya (feminine) and Tandava (masculine). The dances are based on a variety of talas (rhythm patterns) and Prabandhas (musical compositions). Many of the dances incorporate stories about the childhood pranks of young Krishna, as well as the divine love between Lord Krishna and Radha. Male dance forms with drums such as Pung Cholom and Dhol Cholom as well as festival dances such as like Khubakishei (clap dance) and Mandila Nartan (cymbal dance) will be exhibited.
In Utsav 2007, L. Anasuya Devi, Mausumi Bhar Bhattacharya, Pankhuri Agrawal and S. Tomba Singh will be performing as part of Darshana Jhaveri’s troupe. Their tour is presented under the auspices of Battery Dance Company with travel support from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Ms. Anasuya Devi Laipubam hails from Manipur and is one of the most respected senior artistes of the dance institution Manipuri Nartanalaya (Manipur, Kolkata, Mumbai) founded by Guru Bipin Singh, Jhaveri sisters and Kalavati Devi. Ms. Laipubam was trained by Guneswari Devi, Senior Disciple of Guru Bipin Singh in Manipur. She received a National Scholarship from C.C.R.T. Delhi and Senior Scholarship from the Department of Culture, Delhi. Since 1985, Ms. Laipubam has been a member of Darshana Jhaveri’s troupe. She has participated in various festivals all over India. She has toured overseas to participate in the Festivals of India in Paris, Jordan, Asian Dance Festival in Finland and the Kalanidhi International Dance Festival in Canada. She is an accomplished, mature dancer, singer, teacher and drum player and is excited to bring her love for Manipuri dance to the American stage.
Originally from the State of Manipur, Tomba Singh began his training in musical instruments and dance at the age of 6 under Guru L. Lukhoi Singh at Imphal, Manipur. After gaining experience of drum dance in Sankirtan (community prayer) performances in social and religious festivals in Manipur, he started participating in public performances of Eshei Phangnaba in Manipur, the opening ceremony of 5th National Games and the 50th Republic Day Celebration in New Delhi. He played and danced with drums at Khajuraho Festival and Konarak Festival in India and on tour in Bangladesh with artistes of Manipuri Nartanalaya led by Kalavati Devi. He has been participating in programs with Darshana Jhaveri and troupe in different parts of India. His playing of the Pung (drum) is forceful, clear and exhibits a finished mastery. His sprightly Pung Cholom (dance with drum) evokes spontaneous appreciation.
Mausumi Bhar–Bhattacharya is a talented dancer, trained since childhood in several classical Indian dance styles such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi as well as folk dances. She has specialized for the past 20 years in Manipuri Dance under the guidance of Guru Bipin Singh, Kalavati Devi and Darshana Jhaveri. She has imbibed the typical aspects of the Lasya (feminine) and Tandava (masculine) forms of Manipuri Dance. She has performed at various festivals in different parts of India. Since 1997 she has been teaching Manipuri Classical and Folk Dances of India in Mahadevi Birla High School in Calcutta. She has been performing with Darshana Jhaveri in various programs in India since 1993.
Pankhuri Agrawal is a young up-coming dancer from Manipuri Nartanalaya, Mumbai. Pankhuri Agrawal has studied Manipuri Dance since childhood under the direction of the Jhaveri Sisters and Latasana Devi. Pankhuri has a keen interest in both the practical and theoretical aspects of Manipuri Dance, as well as drum playing. A recent graduate of Haverford College, USA, she is interested in understanding women’s role in Indian dance and the distinction made between Indian classical and folk dances. She spent her senior year in college researching the development of Manipuri dance in relation to Guru Bipin Singh’s work. She has coordinated the current Manipuri dance tour in the US along with Jonathan Hollander.
Venue: MOHAI McEachern Auditorium. Date: Sunday Oct 7. Time: 6:00 PM