Just when lauding the increasingly healthy audiences for IIC's annual Monsoon Festival, this year's attendance dipped - thanks to inbuilt resistance to an all-male dance festival, albeit chosen with care. Instead of a festival only for male dancers which is aimed at helping them, but which again looks like ghettoizing male performers into a separate class, the better idea would be a mixed festival, with one male and one female dancer each day. A fine Manipuri dancer like Yum Lambam Bidya Nanda from Imphal (now Kolkata) sadly had to perform to a very scanty gathering. Imphal trained and now under Hemanth Kumar of Shantiniketan, working for a PHD, this aesthetically costumed dancer, right from the opening Dashavatar based on the Gita Govindam ashtapadi, impressed with his light footed excellent technique, full of grace, in Tanchep tala and Dashkosh. The physical balance and ability to evoke emotion through angik or bodily stances while maintaining a serene countenance, showed the all-round grip over Manipuri dance.
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