Definition - What does Manipuri mean?

Manipuri is one of the main classical Indian styles of dance. It originates in the state of Manipur in East India and is well known for its spirituality, religiosity and ritualistic nature. Manipuri is a common name and envelopes several dance forms of the Manipuri region, including Ras Lila, Pung Cholom, Nupa Cholom and more.

The most important Manipuri dance is Ras Lila, describing the love story between Krishna and Radha. Legends say that it was originally created by Radha and Krishna and danced by Shiva and his consort. The primary difference between Manipuri and other classical Indian dance forms is that the movements are more gentle and graceful, and the dancers never stomp.

Yogapedia explains Manipuri

Manipuri dances usually describe an episode or episodes from the life of Krishna, most often describing the love story between him and Radha. One can feel the religious influence in the dances, and performance is used as a tool for devotion and worship. Manipuri dance is graceful, spiritual and is considered one of the softest, but also most significant dances in the world.

There are two categories of Manipuri dance: tandava for the male characters, and lasya for the female characters. There are no jerking movements, straight lines or sharp "edges" in the dance form.

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