Concept, Choreography, and Direction
Suman Sarkar, Souvik Banerjee and Thiyam Maurice
Kankana Singh, Ivana Sarkar, Bimbavati Devi, Thokchom Lansana Chanu, Huirem Indu
Ima is co-produced by Manipuri Nartanalaya, Calcutta and Easter Zonal Cultural Centre, Calcutta
About the Film
Manipur is popularly associated with Vaishnavism and the performing traditions revolving around the life of Lord Krishna. However, Manipur being a part of the Himalayan Tantric belt, Shakti cult also plays a vital role in shaping the land’s cultural edifice.
There are several ritualistic performances that celebrate the divine energy of the Universal Mother.
Panthoibi Seithaba are ballads describing and invoking the Goddess Panthoibi, the pre-Hindu goddess (akin to Durga), worshipped by the Meiteis of Manipur.
Various sacred and ritualistic dances with the sword and spear which signify the victory of righteousness over evil are performed by Thang ta (martial art of Manipur) artistes at various times of the year.
Excerpts of these performing traditions have been incorporated in the composition which is based on the hymns from the holy scripture Shri Shri Chandi that extols the divinity and majesty of Chandi, the powerful form of Durga who had appeared to destroy all evil.
Music Arrangement – Suman Sarkar
Vocal Support (Sanskrit hymns from Shri Shri Chandi) – N. Romila Devi
Pung, Dholok and Langden (drums) – R. K. Upendro
Pena (indigenous string instrument) – Koijam Premkumar Meitei
Poem – Anais Carmen Bourquin (Anandi)
Narration – Bimbavati Devi
Bimbavati Devi , Choreography and Direction
Bimbavati Devi being the daughter of legendary maestros of Manipuri dance, Guru Bipin Singh and Guru Smt. Kalavati Devi was initiated into the world of dance and music at a very tender age. She has also learnt Pung (Manipuri mridang) playing and the basics of Thang Ta, the martial art of Manipur. She is now engaged in various experimental choreographies based on the different aspects of Manipuri dance. She has performed in prestigious festivals and events all over India and abroad.
She is a recipient of various awards of which Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar conferred by the National Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sanskriti Puraskar conferred by the former PM of Delhi and Smt. Sheila Dikshit on behalf of Sanskriti Prarishthan need special mention. Other important awards are Aditya Birla Kala Kiran Award from Aditya Birla Foundation, Bharat Kala Ratna from Navaneetham Trust, Kerala, Nandita Kripalani Award from West Bengal State Akademi of Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts. Very recently she received the Rashtryia Kumar Gandharv Samman from the Government of Madhya Pradesh.