Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla on Thursday stated that an intensive programme of mass cultural intervention with performing arts acting as transmission bridge between the government and the people may be chalked out in view of the rising ‘separatist tendencies.’
The governor was speaking as chief guest during the inaugural function of ‘Celebration of 100 Years of Manipuri Dance in Santiniketan and Festival of Dance Drama’ on the occasion of 44th foundation day of the production unit of Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy (JNMDA) that began on Thursday at its auditorium.
Addressing the gathering, the governor said that the performing arts of India have a great historical role to play in the emotional integration of India. The revival of performing arts and their massive propagation through mass media and cultural exchange on a large scale shall impart a cultural dimension to the forging of national integration. We have, of course, a mass awakening of the traditional art, especially after independence and this should be further intensified, she added.
While pointing out that Manipuri artistes have given innumerable shows in the country and abroad and have brought commendation and recognition, she asserted that Manipur is today popularly known to the world through her rich performing arts and culture and not through her geographical position and size.
“Manipur is almost synonymous with dance and music. Dancing for the sake of dancing was almost unknown here. The occasion of dances in Manipur is the changing of seasons and the objective is devotional,” the governor added.
Najma also expressed gratefulness that the Production Unit of JNMDA has produced more than 40 dance-dramas since the establishment of JN Manipur Dance Academy 66 years ago in 1954.
Vice chairman, JNMDA, professor H Tombi, who was the president of the inaugural function, intimated that according to official records, Manipuri dance was introduced in Santiniketan in 1920 after Rabindranath Tagore witnessed Manipuri dance in Tripura. “Rabindranath Tagore had wanted to visit Manipur but it was not possible at that time,” he stated.
General secretary, Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Tripura, L Biramangol from Tripura and professor, Manipuri dance, Santiniketan, Th Sunita were also felicitated on the occasion.
A dance drama titled ‘Bidai Abhishap’ directed and choreographed by N Amusana was showcased by artistes of the Production Unit, JNMDA as part of today’s celebration.
Meanwhile, a dance drama titled ‘Prakriti’ directed by N Tiken and choreographed by S Basu will be performed by artistes of Progressive Artistes Laboratory, Lamboi-khongnangkhong on Friday.