Santa Cruz Fringe Festival presents
Manipuri Dance Visions
in Krishna Ningshingba
July 14, 2012 Santa Cruz, CA
June 28, 2012
Santa Cruz Fringe Festival presents KRISHNA NINGSHINGBA: REMEMBERING KRISHNA IN MANIPURI DANCE
Directed by Sohini Ray
Performed by Manipuri Dance Visions Ensemble along with Manipuri Dance Visions Youth Ensemble
Date: July 14, 2012
Venue: the Louden Nelson Auditorium, Santa Cruz, CA, 8 pm (www.scfringe.com)
Krishna Ningshingba or remembering Krishna is an excerpt of Maharas following the stories outlined in Srimad Bhagavad. On the full moon night of autumn, the Manipur valley reverberates with the dance music of Maharasleela – the story of eternal love and longing of the gopis and Radha for the lord. As the lord disappears knowing the gopis are too proud to be in his company, the gopis pray for his re-appearance and remember his many deeds – his childhood stories of killing the crane-demon Bakasur, of stealing butter that his mother made and of valiantly lifting the mount Govardhan on his little finger to save the village from deadly storm and rain. The original choreography and music is by the late Guru Bipin Singh in collaboration with the Jhaveri Sisters and it is currently adapted and directed by Manipuri master-artiste Sohini Ray, who had performed the original versions of each of the choreography while in the Jhaveri Sisters dance troupe.
Sohini Ray was initiated into Manipuri by the legendary maestro Guru Bipin Singh at the age of seven when she was admitted to Manipuri Nartanalaya, Kolkata. She started her performing career at age seven with the Jhaveri sisters’ dance troupe in India and won numerous scholarships and prizes. She had over twenty-five years of training in dance and Pung (Manipuri drums) with teachers like Darshana Jhaveri and Kalavati Devi, and has studied Thang-Ta (Manipuri martial arts) under Guru Sinam Devabrata in Hula Sindamsang, Manipur.
She received her M.A. in Dance (1995), Ph.D. in Anthropology (2000) doing specialized academic research on Manipuri language and culture from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2010, she became the first dance researcher in the world ever to win the prestigious J. B. Donne prize from Royal Anthropological Institute, UK for her scholarly work on Manipuri dance. The same year, the film version of her multimedia production ‘Sounds and Lights of Devotion’ was selected as finalist for the Margaret Mead award given by the Society of Applied Anthropology, American Anthropological Association for successfully establishing dance as a practice of anthropology.
Sohini has taught Manipuri dance in New York University and University of California, Los Angeles and started her own institution Manipuri Dance Visions based in Los Angeles in 2005. Her production 'Gita Govinda' won the Lestor Horton Award (2008) and was selected as 'Critic's pick' in Los Angeles Weekly and her solo ‘Pung-Cholom’ received a third nomination for the Lestor Horton award (2011).