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Manipur organizes ‘festival of folk dances’ to promote, preserve indigenous art forms

Imphal, Feb 18: Festivals in the Northeast region reflect the varied beliefs and value systems of numerous communities and showcase their cultures. Therefore, to preserve the culture of these communities, a folk dance festival was recently held in Imphal which attracted a huge crowd. Among the country’s various folk art forms, dance form of Manipur hold a distinct place. Home to various tribal communities, Manipur is known for its bouquet of folk dances. In order to promote and preserve these indigenous art forms nearing extinction, Phouoibi tya Institute of Khurai Thangjam Leikai, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India, organised a three-day-long ‘Festival of folk dances of Manipur’ at Ima Khunthokhanbi Shanglen hall in Imphal. Dance troupes from across the state participated in the event and enthralled the audience with their unique dance forms.

“The objective of organizing this festival is to promote the culture, folk dances and to preserve and conserve the folk dances of Manipur,” said Lourembam Turist Devi, Secretary, Phouoibi tya Institute. The Maibi Dance known as a ritual dance showcased a combition of slow and flowy movements, soft expressions and beats of some traditiol musical instruments. Dancers left the audience awestruck as they performed dressed up in colourful costumes and adornments.

However, due to on-going economic blockade in the state, many dance troupes were uble to make it to the festival. “We want to organize it in large and call the cultural troupes from different parts of Manipur but due to shortage of time and this entire blockade, we can’t call the troupes from different part of Manipur. So we have been organizing this with some of the artists, they are performing different forms of folk dances of Manipur,” Lourembam added. Hosting such festivals helps revive the age-old folk dance forms and music and introduce the younger generations to their glorious heritage. (ANI)