Attend A Bangalore Workshop Intersecting Traditional Manipuri Dance And Martial Arts

Maraa Collective
Maraa CollectiveJohanna Heusser

"Fighting is dancing. Look at a great boxing match, and it’s a dancing."

David Lyons, renowned Australian actor

There is a unique workshop intersecting dance and martial arts, currently underway in Bangalore, hosted by the dynamic media and arts group, Maraa Collective. The workshop is on the Yangshak movement, which is an exploration of the Lairen Mathek philosophy of the Manipuri martial art form, Thang Ta (Khuthek Lal Thek) intersecting with Jagoi dance form, a ritual dance associated with the Tangkhul Naga community of Manipur.

Yangshak arises out of two words “Yang” - Spine (Internal) and “Shak” - Image (External). Thang Ta, also known as "The Art of the Sword and Spear", is the traditional martial art of Manipur in Northeast India. It integrates various external weapons such as the sword, spear, dagger, etc with the internal practice of physical control through soft movements coordinated with the rhythms of breathing. It is a part of the great heroic tradition of Manipur. Its origin lies in the timeless creation myths where, according to local legend, all movements of the Manipuris originated from Thang Ta. Jagoi is an ancient Manipuri word referring to the arts of dance in Meitei culture.

Lairen Mathek is the Manipuri word for the "spine of the python", which is a very strong symbol in the language of Manipur but also in the martial art form Thang Ta. It is the foundational framework driving the workshop at Maara Collective. It is being conducted by none other than the talented Surjit Nongmeikapam, fondly known as Bonbon, a Manipur-based (Imphal, to be more specific) choreographer and performing artist, who is also a personal favorite. The workshop will focus on an in-depth understanding of the body with the help of the Yangshak movement. It will help the participants to work on their breathing, impulse, weight shifting, momentum, spine, and geometrics. The workshop will also touch upon Manipuri Martial Arts Thang-Ta to explore new avenues of movement. The sessions promise to be fun with insights into choreography and improvisations of movement.

Yangshak Movement Workshop

Date: Friday l May 26th, 2023 l 5 pm - 7 pm

Saturday l May 27th, 2023 l 5 pm - 7 pm

Venue: No. 8, Roshni, Binnamangala H Colony, 1st Main Road, HAL 1st Stage, Bangalore, India, Karnataka.

Participants will need to carry a bamboo stick of 3-3.5 feet along with them. Entry is first come first serve. You have to message Maraa Collective to register.

About the facilitator:

Surjit is the Artistic Director of Nachom Arts Foundation. Surjit's creative journey began with traditional Indian forms and movements, eventually branching out to encompass interdisciplinary arts and experimental works. Having pursued a B.A. in Choreography from the esteemed Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography, Surjit stands as one of the few dancers and choreographers in Manipur who fearlessly embrace contemporary dance forms and strive to elevate their development beyond the realms of traditional Manipuri culture. Recognized for his exceptional talents, Surjit has been honored with the prestigious PECDA award for his remarkable pieces Nerves (2014) and Folktale (2016). In addition, he was bestowed with the AMI Arts Festival Youth Award for Performing Art in 2021.

Surjit's artistic endeavors serve as a conduit for his dreams and imagination, giving life to his myriad expressions and serving as a healing process. His creations defy fixed notations or choreography, evoking an enchanting sense of fluidity and boundless exploration. Surjit Nongmeikapam crafts art forms that spring forth from the hidden recesses of his Manipuri heritage, breathing new life into an unseen culture. Along his remarkable journey, Surjit has had the privilege of collaborating with esteemed personalities such as Choy Ka Fai, Preethi Athreya, Isak Immanuel, Takao Kawaguchi, and various filmmakers, further enriching his artistic tapestry.

Find out more about Maraa Collective here.

Find out more about Surjit Nongmeikapam here.

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