TODAY -
Nine-day 'Spirit of the North East' kicks off
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Manipur Information Centre

New Delhi, January 11 2009: IT WAS another new creation of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) that the two artistes wearing the attire of Gopi of Manipuri classical dance and a Nata singing artiste with Mandila cymbal sang popular Lai Haraoba folk song- �hingu Lai-o Lainigthou...

Numidangwairamgi Matamda...

in the programme of 'Rhythms of North East: Instrumental and Song' of the inaugural function of the 9-day Festival of Culture and Art of the North East called 'Purvottari �Spirit of the North East' which kicked off last evening at the Lawns, IGNCA complex here.

The programme was a composite musical show performed by colourful 90 artistes with their cultural dresses of the eight NE States to showcase its best traditional and classical dance music forms.

Two Pung artistes and two Dholak artistes also took part in the programme for Pung Dholak performance.

Assam performed musical pieces of Sattriya classical and Bihu folk dance by the artistes wearing their dance dresses.

GM Gurung, Sikkim Minister of Culture as Chief Guest, P Bharat Singh, Manipur Commissioner of Art and Culture, Chinmaya Gharekhan, IGNCA Chairman and Jawhar Sircar, Union Secretary of Culture as Guest of honours lit the inaugural lamp.

The inaugural cultural evening began with an opening song- Purvanchan Ke Aath Rang sung by 36 artistes with their cultural dresses of the NE states describing unique qualities of the each state.

In the song, Manipur was described as the land of great art and culture.

It was followed by the Rhythms of North-East and the dance performances of each NE States.

Assam performed Sattriya classical dance by six artistes, Bihu folk dance by 15 artistes and festive dance of womenfolk of Bodo tribe by 13 artistes; Manipur performed Ras Leela by five artistes- Krishna, Radha and three Gopis.

Nagaland presented warrior dance of Sumi community by 16 artistes and Meghalaya performed Jaintia dance by 13 artistes.

Hozagiri dance of Reang community of Tripura enthralled the audience.

Standing on an earthen pitcher with a bottle on the head and a lighted lamp on it, when the Reang belle danced twisting rhythmically the lower part of the body, the dance bewildered the onlookers.

Mizoram performed Cherow dance by 14 artistes; Sikkim presented Singhi Chaam dance by 15 artistes and Arunachal Pradesh show Rikam Pada dance by 16 artistes.

Manipur Day of the festival falls on January 12 which will be attended by the Union Minister of DoNER Mani Shankar Aiyar 'Purvottari', as the festival is called, is a first-time initiative of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) to bring the beauty of the faraway northeastern region right to the heart of the capital.

The nine-day festival will showcase the culture, dance, music, handicrafts and food of all the eight states of the region - Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura - besides presenting documentaries on the region and holding seminars.

Kailash K.Mishra, coordinator of the Northeastern projects at IGNCA said, "We have had such festivals in almost all the states of the northeast.

But since we don't want to confine the beauty and richness of the region, we decided to hold such a festival in Delhi".

"If a success, we will take the festival to other metros of the country, like Mumbai and Bangalore, and if that works out well, we will take it abroad," he added.

In an interview with the DD News about the festival, Manipur Commissioner of Art and Culture said, "Such festival would bring the people in the national capital to aware of the hidden beauties of the cultural and traditional lives of the North East region and also promote the feeling of oneness among the people of India." He suggested for holding the Festivals of Art and Culture of other regions of the country in the North Eastern region so as to know each other its beautiful lives.

Among the programmes on schedule is a multi-media presentation of the manuscripts of the northeast, an exhibition of books and screening of films on the region, showcasing northeast artefacts and dance and music programmes - all under the shade of a beautifully carved bamboo house.

It is seen that the IGNCA has been gearing up for developing a new change in the cultural and traditional lives of Manipur, may be, for a better developed State.

On March 13 last year, the IGNCA documented a Shumang Leela on Ramlila tradition in Manipur in the form of proscenium theatre tradition.

Since its inception, the IGNCA has been documenting various forms of rich art and culture of different communities of Manipur in various forms of media so as to keep it alive for future generation.


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