Manipur’s vibrant culture was on display at Cross Maidan on Saturday, in a first-ever performance by Manipuri classical dancers at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.
The Manipuri Jagoi Marup group, comprising 15 members who travelled by train for five days to be part of the festival, created stunning visuals with their vibrant costumes and fluid dance movements as they enacted stories of Lord Krishna.
The highlight of the act was the Pung Cholom, the traditional dance that precedes a raas in Manipur, wher four boys with drums move in swift synchronous movements. The act was choreographed by Padmashri Guru Babu Singh.
There followed a breathtaking performance by women wearing the traditional, circular-shaped stiff skirts or potloi, depicting tales of the love of Lord Krishna with graceful movements.
“This is the first time Manipuri classical dance is part of the festival. These dancers turned the place into Vrindavan with their depiction of the sublime love of Lord Krishna,” said Lata Surendra, curator of the dance section at the festival.
“It was a great experience performing here,” said RK Sanahanbi Devi, secretary of the Manipur Jagoi Jarup, which was founded by Padma Shri Amubi Singh.
Among the audience was one of Mumbai’s few champions of Manipuri classical dance, Padma Shri Darshana Jhaveri.
“I am so happy that the group was invited to the festival,” she said. “They brought Manipur to Mumbai.”