The Music, Dance, and Martial Arts of Manipur at Baruch PAC
Thursday, March 20, 2003
BARUCH COLLEGE, NEW YORK, NY (3/17/03)—Anjika Manipuri, a cultural troupe from the northeast Indian state of Manipur, will present a sequence of traditional music, dance and martial arts at 1:00 PM on Thursday, March 20 in Engelman Recital Hall. The Engelman Recital Hall is part of the Baruch Performing Arts Center, located on the B-2 Level of the Newman Vertical Campus. This performance forms part of the troupe’s first-ever tour appearance in New York, and is a rare opportunity to view the cultural heritage of the remote area.
Led by company director and choreographer Priti Patel, Anjika Manipuri performs some of the region’s most distinctive dances including Rasa Lila, which depicts the deity Krishna interacting with female disciples; along with the exciting simulated combat of Thang Ta, Manipur’s celebrated martial arts tradition. Manipur, literally translated as ‘the jeweled land’, has maintained an unusually strong cultural purity due to its isolation from the rest of the country and relative lack of tourism.
Other dances in the group’s repertoire include Dhon Dolok Cholom, an acrobatic dance during which the dancers also play drums; and Maibi, a spiritual dance depicting the creation and growth of civilization. Thang Ta, or “sword/spear', preserves the ancient combative training techniques of the the region's military. It is composed of choreographed drills involving weapons, as well as unarmed grappling.
Ms. Patel, who began her training as a dancer under the late Guru Bipin Singh as a 12-year old, has toured Asia with her student dancers, master drummers and martial artists for the last 20 years. The company’s American tour is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council for the Arts.
--The World Music Institute (click on "current tours" for more information on Anjika Manipuri)
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