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Louise Lightfoot and Ibetombi Devi: the second Manipuri Dance Tour of Australia, 1957

Sarwal, Amit 2014, Louise Lightfoot and Ibetombi Devi: the second Manipuri Dance Tour of Australia, 1957, Dance research, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 208-232, doi: 10.3366/drs.2014.0107.

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Title Louise Lightfoot and Ibetombi Devi: the second Manipuri Dance Tour of Australia, 1957
Author(s) Sarwal, Amit
Journal name Dance research
Volume number 32
Issue number 2
Start page 208
End page 232
Total pages 24
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Place of publication Edinburgh, Scotland
Publication date 2014
ISSN 0264-2875
1750-0095
Keyword(s) dance
folk dance
Indian dance
Mnaipur
Ibetombi Devi
Louise Lightfoot
Australia
Summary Manipur, a small state in the North-Eastern India, is traditionally regarded in the Indian classics and epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata as the home of gandharvas (the celestial dancers). Manipuri is one of the eleven dance styles of India that have incorporated various techniques mentioned in such ancient treatises as the Natya Shastra and Bharatarnava and has been placed by Sangeet Natak Akademi within ‘a common heritage’ of Indian classical dance forms (shastriya nritya): Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniyattam, Odissi, Sattriya, Chhau, Gaudiya Nritya, and Thang Ta. In the late-1950s Louise Lightfoot, the ‘Australian mother of Kathakali,’ visited Manipur to study and research different styles of Manipuri dance. There she met Ibetombi Devi, the daughter of a Manipuri Princess; she had started dancing at the age of four and by the age of twelve, she had become the only female dancer to perform the Meitei Pung Cholom on stage––a form of dance traditionally performed by Manipuri men accompanied by the beating of the pung (drum). In 1957, at the age of 20, Ibetombi became the first Manipuri female dancer to travel to Australia. This paper addresses Ibetombi Devi’s cross-cultural dance collaboration in Australia with her impresario, Louise Lightfoot, and the impression she and her co-dancer, Ananda Shivaram, made upon audiences.
Language eng
DOI 10.3366/drs.2014.0107
Field of Research 200211 Postcolonial Studies
1904 Performing Arts And Creative Writing
Socio Economic Objective 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language
HERDC Research category C2 Other contribution to refereed journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Edinburgh University Press
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30072433

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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