Indigenous Folklore

WATCH VIDEO: Pung Cholom – The stick dance of Manipur

A Manipuri Pung cholom and stick dance performance by International Manipuri dance troupe at Dr. Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi held on 17th November at the 6th North East Tamchon Football trophy.

Manipuri stick dance is a form of folk dance exclusive to the Meitei people of Manipur. It is a combination of both rhythm and skill. Encouraged by the kings of earlier times, the art has a ritualistic aspect. With some movements of sticks in a graceful and rhythmic manner the dance is performed. Dol cholam or the drum, by itself, enjoys a privilege in the stick dance of Manipur. Thought to have originated from Thang Ta, with ‘Thang’ meaning Sword and ‘Ta’ meaning spear. The stick dance is an integral part of Manipur culture.

The Pung cholom is a Manipuri dance. It is the soul of Manipuri Sankirtana music and Classical Manipuri dance. The Pung Cholom is a unique classical dance of Manipur. This dance may be performed by men or women and is usually a prelude to the Ras Lila. In this style, the dancers play the pung (a form of hand beaten drum) while they dance at the same time. Dancers need to be graceful and acrobatic at the same time. They use these acrobatic effects without breaking the rhythm or flow of music. The dance is marked by a gentle rhythm, which gradually builds up to a thunderous climax.

Pung cholom borrows elements from the Manipuri martial arts Thang Ta and Sarit Sarak and also from the traditional Maibi Jagoi dance.

Pung cholom (Stick dance of Manipur)


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