Manipuri Dancers



Rasa-lila is a sacred dance that is first performed in the Vaishnavite Shri Shri-Govindaji Temple in Imphal on the night of the full moon. During the drama, lovely gopis, or milkmaids, so exquisitely dressed they appear as dolls, spin and encircle Lord Krishna and his lover Radha. Only after this initial performance can the rasa-lila take place in Manipur’s local village temples. The dancers move within a sacred circle, while the audience sits on the floor outside the arena. The dramas continue late into the night. Distinctive Manipuri classical rasa-lila attire consists of a stiff circular kumin skirt; a transparent undulating upper skirt, or a poshwal; a bodice; an elaborate belt and various other ornaments; and a conical headdress from which a transparent maikhum veils the face. Imphal, Manipur


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