Manipuri Dance Visions – Institute of Manipuri Dance presented “Dance Homage” – Celebration of Manipuri dance in North America commemorating the birth centenary of Guru Bipin Singh (Iconic master of Manipuri dance) on august 25, 2018 at 10:30 am in Studio One, Barnard College, Columbia University. The event was co-sponsored by Prof. Uttara Asha Coorlawala, professor of dance department, Barnard College, Columbia University. Three generations of Guru Bipin Singh’s disciples came together to perform and pay tribute to this Manipuri dance icon who became a legend in his life time. Performers were Sohini Ray, Sanjib Bhattacharya, Jagannath Lairenjam, (direct disciples of Guru Bipin Singh), Krishnakali Dasgupta (grand-disciple like grand-children – Krishnakali studied with Poushali Chatterjee and Sohini Ray) and Annie Ferdous (grand-disciple – Annie studied with Shantibala Devi in Dhaka) and her students from the Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts (great-grand-disciples) in Queens, New York including Taseen Ferdous, Faroza Joty, Zarrin Maisha, Apiya Jahan Pompi and Tanjeela Newaz.
Padmasree Darshana Jhaveri’s DVD on bhangi parengs was released ceremonially. Several luminaries of the New York dance world – Rajika Puri, Jonathan Hollander, Uttara Asha Coorlawala and Parijat Desai graced the occasion as guests of honor. Several members of the local Manipuri community extended their helping hands. Special thanks to Dipu Singha for the sets. Jasmine Rashid served as the master of ceremony. Achuta Manasa, disciple of Sohini Ray supervised the creation of the fliers in record time in Andra Pradesh, India. A special thanks to Jan Steward for donating her time and labor in creating the graphics for the brochure.
Several letters of blessings from Darshana Jhaveri, Kalavati Devi, Sunil Kothari, Laily Basu and Christel Stevens blessed the function.
The dance program followed showcased Radharoopvarnan by Krishnakali Dasgupta, Sakshat darshan by Sohini Ray, Krira prabandha by Sanjib Bhattacharya, pung cholom by Jagannath Lairenjam, mridang vadan by Sohini, Sanjib an Krishnakali on pung and Jagannath on karate; and also a dance group number with manjira by students of Annie Ferdous.
Program brochure contained a separate insert about Guru Bipin Singh including his photos, a full biography and a rare quote published in 1979 in the book “Guru Bipin Singh” written by the late Nayana Jhaveri.
“ Manipuri Dance is rich, graceful, lyrical and aesthetically elevating. Its rhythm pattern is complex and absorbing, essentially devotional, its themes are varied and vast and intensely dramatic…….I must, with full trust in God and his Grace, keep diving deeper and deeper into its intrinsic beauty and develop it into a powerful, enchanting and intelligible theatre art and present it to people all over India and abroad….this is my life’s work.”
Guru Bipin Singh (published in 1979)