Wednesday, February 1, 2023


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There are various types of Cholams. The cholams are both lasya and tandava. 

Kartal cholam : It is a Tandava dance of cymbals. It is performed, by the male dancers only. their feats are in intricate talas or timing on the Kartals (large cymbals). An essence of harmony is achieved with the rhythmic tunes of mridang. The dancer shows the dexterity by making jumps radiating in semi circular ways, making strength-full movements with speedy whirls and turns with the exact Tala of the music. The dancer imitates the natural movements of Kapote (crane), Mayur (peacock), Khanjan (bagtail) and Hansa (swan) in perfect accuracy of movement and sound.

Manipuri-RepertoireManjira Cholam :  This Tandava dance is performed in temples during Jholan Yatra. A beautiful dais is formed in the Mandapa hall of the Govindajie temple. The idols of Radha and Krishna are placed on the dais. The music party of the temple sits before the deities and then this dance is performed in their presence in reverence to the god and goddess.

Pung Cholam:  It is a Tandava drum dance generally performed by a male dancer in the temple square on some special occasions. The dancer performs with a mad frenzy of speed with bends and turns holding the drum and producing the music simultaneously. Sometimes the drum sound is produced by imitating the sounds of Nature.

There are other cholam dances such as the Duff cholam and the Kanjira cholam. Amongst the Kartali dances are the clapping items performed only by women as the Nupi Khumbak ishei and the Nupa khumbak ishei. These are group dances in which a number of interesting group formations can be seen and the dance is built on clapping of hands at cross rhythms to be basics rhythm played by the accompanying pung. All the cholam and Kartali dances are pure nritta. There is not abhinaya, not is there any song accompaniment.

The Thang haiba and the Takhew sauba or the sword and the spear dances which belong to the tandava category have now become part of the artistic repertoire. Originally these were performed either in the contact of ritual magical performances or as a sequence in the Lai Haraoba. When incorporated as an artistic number, these are called thangta jagoi.

The Nupi Jagoi or the women's dance is the graceful variety and is divided into two main sub-divisions. The first Bhangi Jagoi and the second Punglol Jagoi. i.e, that which is performed only to the mnemonics of the Pung the Manipuri Mridangam. The Bhangi Jagoi is marked by seriousness of purpose, a slow tempo and a very careful delivery of movements which are controlled and restrained. It comes under the category called the smitanga.  The Punglol Jagoi is executed in a fast tempo, a metrical pattern  and a repetition ending in triplets of three. All these should be considered both of the male and the female as pure abstract dancing without mime or abhinaya. This is the nritta repertoire of Manipuri dancing. It must be remembered that none of these numbers are dissociated from the repertoire which have mentioned in the context of the sankirtana and the jatra dances.

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