Manipuri – Ashtapati by Darshana Jhaveri
Pontha Jagoi by Darshana Jhaveri & Latasana Devi FOLK ARTS OF MANIPUR – Sankirtana &
The dances of Manipur, a North Eastern state of India are influenced by the religious
movements of Vaishnavism, the worship of Lord Vishnu. A sense of music and rhythm is inbuilt
in the citizens of Manipur. The classical dance form of Manipur is Manipuri where the
dancers wear veil, along with cylindrical mirrored skirts and ornaments that create a
dream-like effect. After Indian independence, Manipuri was popularized by three dancers –
the Jhaveri Sisters. One of them, Darshana Jhaveri, explains the intricate movements of the
Manipuri style of dancing and performs an Ashtapati. Somana Kunitha, Marammana Kunitha and
Kasale. This is followed by “PONTHA JAGOI” a dance competition between Krishna and Radha in
Manipuri performed by Darshana Jhaveri and her senior disciple Latasana Devi. This is
followed by the all male ensemble of Manipur performing Sankirtana with symbols and dholak.
The male dancers also perform a vigorous, rhythmic “Pung Cholam” with the Dholak in hand.
Episode Ten Chau – Seraikella Chau, Purulia Chau, and Mayurbhanj Chau
Folk Arts of Punjab – Bhangda & Giddha
Another variety of dance in Orissa is Chau, a stylized masked dance form. Chau combines
folk, tribal and martial traditions and yet covers the Nritta, Natya, and Nritya aspects of
classical dance. It is a complex combination of the folk and classical traditions. Three
styles of Chau exist in the three different regions of Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa,
Seraikella Chau, Purulia Chau, and Mayurbhanj Chau respectively. Each character has a
special mask unique to that character only. This episode features extracts of five different
Chau items. From Eastern India we move westwards to the Golden temple of Amritsar, the
famous Sikh temple in Punjab. The dancers take turns to execute complex acrobatic movements.
From the vigorous Bhangda performed by men-folk of Punjab performing a graceful, gentle
Giddha. This number is performed to celebrate a wedding and is characterized by its
Producer Dr. Mohana Krishnaswamy
More than two hundred celebrity dancers of India have been brought together for the first
time, in this 13 episode TV Serial which features the different classical styles of India as
well as several folk art forms across the country.
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