Krishnagi Wari

Krishnagi Wari (Stories of Krishna)

Manipuri dance is one of the many classical dances of the Indian sub-continent. It originates in the northeast-Indian state of Manipur deep in the Himalayas where dance is an integral part of life


This region is extremely complex in terms of its religious beliefs and practices. The Meitei community of Manipur had their own religion and related ritual practices since ancient times, but converted to Hindu Vaishnavism in the eighteenth century. What followed was an era of syncretic adoption of the two religious traditions. The Meiteis adopted the Hindu Vaishnavite festivals but added a new dimension to them – dance and music. For example, a festival like Holi that is celebrated throughout India is celebrated in Manipur with a performance tradition named Holipala. At the same time, the Meiteis never discarded their pre-Hindu religion, and associated rituals and festivals. Thus several interlinked sub-traditions have emerged. Among them the Rasleela and the Sankirtan tradition are the Vaishnavite one and the Lai-haraoba are the pre-Vaishnavite ones.

Manipuri dance is one of the few dance forms of India where the temple tradition is still alive. The performance tradition for the proscenium stage has been adapted from the living temple dance tradition. Technically Manipuri dance has two parallel styles Lasya – the female style and tandava – the male style, and contemporary choreography draws from both styles.

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Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles
In collaboration with
Heritage Empowered Artists Legacy Inc. (HEAL)
Krishnagi Wari (Stories of Krishna)
Manipuri Dance Visions Ensemble
Directed by Sohini Ray
On Friday May 23, 2008 @ 8 Pm
At Barnsdall Gallery Theater
4800 Hollywood Boulevard

, CA 90027

(Near the intersection of Hollywood and Vermont)
Tickets $10,
For more info visit our web-site
Or call (626)7964784

Sohini Ray was initiated into Manipuri Dance by the legendary maestro Guru Bipin Singh at the age of seven when she was admitted to Manipuri Nartanalaya, Kolkata. She received over twentyfive years of training in Dance and Pung (Manipuri drums) with teachers like Darshana Jhaveri and Kalavati Devi, and has studied Thang-Ta (Manipuri martial arts) in Hula Sindamsang, Manipur. She started performing with the Jhaveri Sisters as a child artiste in 1979 and then continued to be a senior member of their troupe performing in the major festivals in India including Ganga Utsav, Kal-ke-Kalakar Sangeet Sammelan, Mumbai, Swami Haridas Sangeet Sammelan, Mumbai, Shardotsav, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal and the prestigious State Kala Academy Solo Dance Festival in Imphal, Manipur. She is a solo artist (Grade B) in Doordarsan, the Indian Television. Her performances in North America have included the inaugural ceremony of South-Asia Festival, New York University, American College Dance Festival, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, World Fest, UCLA, film sequence of the opera "Mathis der Maler" directed by Peter Sellars, the Los Angeles Women's Theater festival, the opening night of Dance Kaliedoscope, LA and Kalanidhi Dance Festival in Toronto, Canada. Her major choreographic works include Secrets of the heart and Self in collaboration with Korean choreographer Senhea Ha. She has received the National Scholarship in Manipuri Dance from the Government of India (1982-'86), First prize in the Music and Dance Festival of the West Bengal State Music Academy (1988), Shringar Mani award in the Kal-ke-kalakar Sangeet Sammelan, Mumbai (1988) and the title of Nartan Acharya from Manipuri Nartanalaya (1999). She received her M.A. in Dance (1995) Ph.D. in Anthropology (2000) from the University of California, Los Angeles and has published extensively on cultural and performance of Manipur. She has taught Manipuri Dance in New York University and University of California, Los Angeles and recently started her own institution ‘Manipuri Dance Visions’ based in Los Angeles.


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