IMPHAL, June 30: Three-day festival of Khubak Eshei gets underway today afternoon at Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy mandap. The festival is being organised as part of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of the Academy.
Speaking at the inaugural function vice chairman of the Academy, Prof N Tombi Singh stated that Khubak Esei is associated with the of RathaJatra festival in Manipur. The RathaJatra of Govindajee was started in the reign of Maharaj Gambheer Singh in the 19th century AD.
He further said that mandap in locals are the bedrock of our cultural performances. It helps in the up-liftmen of art & culture of the state because this is the place where performance arts are practiced till today, he maintained.
Retd Pradhan Guru of the Academy, S Thanil Singh lauded for organising such festival of “Khubak Esei” which will benefit in its development. He expressed that the state is rich in art & culture and it is known and respected by the world; and most of the art and culture performances in the state are not borrowed from outside, they are our own.
L Upendra Sharma, Director of the Academy speaking to IFP said the art form of Khubak Eshei is dwindling down, though the rich grandeur of the art is still intact. “One of the reasons could be that the art form is performed only during the Ratha Jatra festival, we have purposely organised the festival during the month of Kang”, he said.
He said the Academy is committed to promote the art. There is also Nupi Khubak Eshei in the pipeline, he added.
The inaugural performance was given by Wangkhei Pana and Khwai Pana under the supervision of Y Shamu Singh and Y Jatra Singh respectively. Khurai Pana and Yaiskul Pana will perform on the second day and on the concluding day there will be Jayadev Chongba and Challi Pareng.