Laihui artists perform Phou-Oibi, a Manipuri Ballad Opera

April 17th, 2009 - 10:43 pm ICT by ANI  

By L.C.K Singh

Imphal, April 17 (ANI): A group of Manipuri artistes recently staged “Phou-Oibi”, a Manipuri Ballad Opera for the first time here showcasing the unique culture and traditions of the state.

Large number of people thronged the open air theatre at Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance academy to witness the new production by Laihui artistes, a centre for research on traditional and indigenous arts.

The opera, intended to promote the rich folklore of Manipur, was staged with the support of India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore.The director gave a different twist to the opera by installing a unique blend of elaborate costume designs, modern stage lighting and sound arrangements.

“In this Manipuri indigenous traditional art form, there is something very unique which has never been explored by any other people in any parts of the world. So in that manner we try to promote our own tradition, art and culture,” said M. Mangangsana, Director of the Manipuri Ballad Opera.

“This is to showcase our culture. It’s a form of drama as well. Instead of aping other cultures, we should develop a taste and love for our culture and promote it in a big way,” said S. Pinky Devi, the Manipuri artiste.

The play opens with a group of male musicians and female dancers and is enriched by several elements of Manipuri traditional songs. It is an 18th century English theatre genre that has dialogues blended with songs and dances which the director has fused with folklores associated with the Manipuri Goddess of Rice, ‘Phou-Oibi’.The theatre enthusiasts thoroughly enjoyed the splendid performance by the artists.

“I believe that by seeing such entertaining programmes people will not have destructive thoughts and it will help in releasing tension and bring about a sense of peace. This is my strong belief,” said P. Gyanendra Sharma, who witnessed the show.

Since the inception of Laihui, it has held various workshops and staged many performances.It is hoped that such initiatives will go a long way in preserving and promoting the rich cultural traditions and heritage of the state. (ANI)

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