Manipur, a beautiful state of the North Eastern region is widely famous for its aesthetically appealing landscape, art and culture. It is a state rich in arts and crafts. The state is celebrated for its authentic dance forms which has become an integral part of their lifestyle. They use these dance forms as a religious symbol or ritual to show their love and dedication towards their deities.
One of the most ancient classical dance forms of Manipur which is said to have evolved 2000 year ago is the ‘Lai Haraoba’ dance form. Some of the interesting facts about this dance form are:
#1. The ‘Lai Haraoba’ dance is actually a festival celebrated by the ethnic group of the state. It is celebrated to acknowledge the creation of the universe by ‘Atiya Shidaba’ (deity of the ‘Meities’).
#2.The most attracting aspect of this festival is that it is very lively and colourful and involves a number of authentic dance forms performed by both young and old.
#3.The dance form is said to be parented by the ‘Khamba Thaibi’ tribe of the state. This dance form is used to portray the love affair of Princess Thaibi and a poor lad Khamba but in a more modern and expressive dance moves.
Related: Types of Manipuri Dances
#4.The Lai Haraoba has six different types of dance forms namely Kanglei Haraoba, Chakpa Haraoba, Andro Haraoba, Sekmai Haraoba, Moirang Haraoba and Kakching Haraoba.
#5.As said earlier this festival is a way of merrymaking of the gods but what is more interesting is that the dance is performed by the ‘maibas’ and the ‘maibis’ (priest and priestesses) who act out the theme of the creation of the world.