A similar conflict region in Japan where there is high militarization and subjugation of people by the Japanese over the annexed place called Okinawa. Soldiers from US are deployed in Osaka which was annexed by Japan. Okinawan is an island where people speaks their own language and has rich cultural and traditional heritage like Manipur.
However everything seems to be subdued as the people of the region felt. Recently Surjit Nongmeikapam (Bon) had a residency camp and his dance NERVE touched the people of Osaka as it expressed the woes of the citizen in a conflict torn region.
The dance titled NERVE is a work in progress contemporary dance form by Surjit Nongmeikapam (Bon) who had toured many countries and is an eminent contemporary dancer in India.
The dance depicts suppression within the mind and soul. The sarcastic feelings. Public grievances at the law and order situation in Manipur.
In his dance, Polo game is taken as a symbol of expression. The game is often played by the Royal Family and the British from the past. He choose polo as the game is known to many but never the region where it originated, so he tries to tell his audience as to where polo originated through his performances like he did in Japan and Belgium so far.
On the other side he symbolizes the polo ball with the public and the playing team as that of militants and the ruling government. The players seem to enjoy the play happily but the ball often hit by the players suffer a lot of pain which seem unnoticed.
He continued if I have to visit Sendra resort at Loktak Lake I have to take permission from the army stationed at the foothill. Such is the hurdles faced by the public and he depicts that in NERVE too. Nerve was named as it is vital in human body and in his dance movement he expresses the pangs of the public in the hands of the players.
Okinawa language the indigenous language could not be used in Japan. There was a request by the people for Surjit to come back and perform at various places in Okinawa such was the amazement he gets from his dance.
Cultural exchange program where Surjit narrates the story of Manipur also took place and he also presented a polo stick to the organizers. A form of Taekwondo practice at Okinawa was also played during the cultural exchange program.
He performed in the event ANICONIC at Yokohama where he also performed One Voice solo and luckily a dance critic in Japan referred One Voice dance to an Indonesian Film – “The Act of Killing”.
Japanese respects their elder and they love to keep their tradition observed Surjit. Less ego and hardworking people surrounds the Yokohama town. He finds the society to be liberal and regards individual freedom. They also keep time. Took rice as staple food and most of the curry are steamed.
The people regards artistic values and hard work is a precious asset for them. Houses are small and very mobile. Lots of partition in the room architecture. If a party is going to happen the room could be opened up to a larger hall such is the marvelous room partition design they have.
Artists’ students and renowned people came for the show. Tokyo is very competitive in Contemporary dance and the artists also struggle as an artists. Facebook page of the event is as follow:-
Japanese are closely connected with Manipur since the Second World War when the Japanese force landed in Manipur, every year numbers of Japanese war tourists came. INA Complex at Moirang was the place where Subhas Chandra Bose landed with Japanese army. A Japanese hospital is in the offing and sites have been identified and a small set up is already made. Culturally there are similar assimilations and in fact there are organizations like the Indo Japan Association in Manipur. Moreover there are some Japanese language institute running in the State. In fact people out here fancy the Japanese martial art or the play of swords. In the younger generation media influence many animated Japanese movies is flooding the DVD parlors in the State. Many people would talk about Japan as a land of frequent earthquake and many would add that they have a way of making houses in order to avoid calamity in the earthquake – like a rolling object placed at the foundation of the house. People have a flair of knowledge and they love to talk of Japan despite little knowledge about the land. Perhaps there seem a lot of connection.
The love of Art and common interest would definitely give a bond of contention among the people of these two regions. Surjit (Bon)will be travelling to different countries in the weeks to come for his performance.
CORE an NGO based in Imphal East and H2H where Surjit (Bon) is associated sponsored his flight to Japan and rest of the expenditure were sponsored by the Japanese and the artists showed his gratitude towards the organization who have done a good favour in connecting the two regions by sponsoring him in the last trip to Japan.