|Classical Dance Forms of India|
the northeastern state of Manipur, Manipuri dances are essentially folk
forms, which primarily use the arms and upper body to communicate. The
dancers, mostly women, wear rigidly framed cylindrical skirts, which are
ornately embellished, or else the simple, more modern lungi traditional to
that part of India.
Manipuri, the distinction between the lasya, or feminine, and tandava, or
masculine modes of movement is marked. The former is soft, subtle, the
feet barely moving, the arms curving into delicate patterns in the air;
the latter is vigorous, strong, energetic, with leaps, bounds and circular
jumps that make a recital more vibrant and interesting.
to the legends of the Meitei tribes, people of the state, when the Creator
gathered the Earth together into a unit, it was lumpy. The seven
Lainoorahs danced on this newly formed sphere, pressing gently with their
feet to make it firm and smooth. This is the origin of Meitei Jagoi. To
this day, when Manipuri people dance, they do not stamp vigorously but
press their feet gently and delicately on the ground. The original myths
and stories are still practiced by the cultist Maibis, or Meitei
priestesses in the form (Maibi) that is the root of Manipuri.
dancers generally tell the stories of Krishnas deeds, or leelas, with a
climax that shows the Blue God dancing with his female companions. The
music has lot of far eastern influence in tonality and style.