For the creation of a musical performance based on notions of Manipuri identity embedded in the literature and folklore of the Meitei community, particularly that of its diaspora, spread across Assam, Bangladesh and Tripura. Through extensive field trips and interviews, the project will explore migration histories, stories and songs of the Meitei community to understand constructions and erasures of identity both within and outside of Manipur. The performance seeks to generate fresh perspectives into the current socio-political landscape of the state. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be an audio CD, documentation from the field trip, stills and video recordings of the premiere performance.
For research into the aesthetic theory in the Anoirol, an ancient Meitei text on the art of movements, abandoned in the mainstream discourse of the performing arts. The study will explore various aspects and beliefs on past and future life associated with ecological preservation and its deep-rooted animism as prescribed in the text. The enquiry will emphasise the critical need to read Manipuri dance by the principles of discourses in its own indigenous context rather than homogenising it through the prism of foreign texts like the Natyashastra. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For the creation of a performance based on the traditional Manipuri Meitei ballad Phou-Oibi. Telling a legendary story in a non-traditional, open-air setting, the performance will explore the musicality of the string instrument pena, as well as draw from the Manipuri performing forms of Moirang Sai, Moirang Parva, Sankirtana, Wari Liba and Lai Haraoba.