Manipuri Jagoi Marup is the Cultural Ambassador of Manipur

  • This article tells about one of Manipur’s oldest dance company, Manipuri Jagoi Marup and the life of its founder Guru Maisnam Amubi Singh.

Manipuri Jagoi Marup is one of the oldest and active Manipuri dance company in India. The first Padma Shri awardee Guru Maisnam Amubi Singh, doyen of Manipuri Dance is the founder of the Marup. Founded in 1963 the Manipuri Jagoi Marup is an institution devoted to development of Manipuri dances and its rejuvenation. This troupe of dedicated and proficient artistes have won great recognition, at home and abroad, for their fine performances of traditional, folk and classical dances and music of Manipur.


Since its establishment the troupe has given more than 8,000 shows of Manipuri performing arts all over country and visited Iran, Japan (nine times), Bhutan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Rangoon, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Macau, Thailand, Israel, USA, Dubai, Australia, Canada, Russia, New Zealand, France and Mexico. Besides being specially invited to perform, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, in honour of visiting dignitaries.

With Mrs Indira Gandhi.  

The Manipuri Jagoi Marup has also performed for various national and international conferences as well as in many educational institutions. Former Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi accompanied the Manipuri Jagoi Marup troupe during her Iran tour, as her choice .The troupe also collaborated with Tabla maestro Zakir Hussian, in his tour to different parts of U.S.A.


The group regularly produced creative productions like Ballets and Dance Dramas including the national award winning ballet Engaleei. So far the group has produced over two dozen ballets and one dozen dance dramas on different themes. It also conducts classes on Manipuri Dance and Music.


In recognitions of the contribution made by the Manipuri Jagoi Marup, towards Manipuri performing arts, the Central Government has extended support to the Marup for various art projects since 1976. It also extends Salary Grants under repertory Grant scheme of the Ministry of Culture. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), which comes under the Ministry of External Affairs, also sponsors Manipuri Jagoi Marup and thus helps showcase Manipuri culture worldwide.


In 2018 Manipuri Jagoi Marup took part in the 46th International Cervantino Festival that was held in different cities of Mexico. India participated for the first time as ‘guest of honour’. 


The 15-member cultural troupe, sponsored by ICCR, successfully performed the world famous Basanta Raas, Pung Chollom, Dhol Chollom and Manipuri Classical dance compositions at different places namely Alhondiga de Granditas,  Alhondiga, Plazaprincipal, La Piedad, Auditorio Eduoro Tres Guerras Celaya, Plaza Miguel Hidalgo, Irapuato, Teatro Zaragoza, Atizapan, Merida, Centro de Convenciones at Campeche, Teatro Ignacio De La Llava at Orizade. Performances were appreciated by the crowds, organizers and sponsors alike.


Covid or no Covid 19 Manipuri Jagoi Marup is continuing it work as a cultural ambassador of Manipur.


It would be useful to know a bit about the founder of Manipuri Jagoi Marup, Guru Maisnam Amubi Singh (GMS).

The oldest authority of Manipuri Dance GMS was born in 1881. His father Samu Singh was younger brother of Maharani Kumudini and a senior army chief in the regime of Maharaja Chandrakirti Singh. GMS’s mother was great-grand daughter of Rajarshi Bhagyachandra who was the principal architect of classical Manipuri Raas Dances.


GMS learnt traditional dance and music under able Gurus namely Konsam Ojha Chura, Phrulaitpam Ojha Chaonou, Ningthoukhongjam Oja Chaomacha, Maibam Ojha Keipha and Laishram Ojha Mangoljao.


He worked with missionary zeal and spent the most productive part of his life teaching Manipuri dance in important centres all over India. Uday Shankar, the great exponent of Indian dance, his wife Uma Shankar were closely associated with GMS for a long time and acknowledged they learnt the Manipuri School of dancing from Guru Amubi.


GMS was one of the greatest exponents of Manipuri dance of his time and the first recipient of the President’s Academy Award for Manipuri Dance in 1956. GMS was associated, as the Principal Guru, with the Manipur Dance Academy from its inception in the year 1954.


The President of India awarded Guru Amubi with Padma Shri in 1970 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the promotion of Manipuri School of dancing.


Guru Amubi was the most gifted of all Manipuri gurus who gave a new orientation to the creative evolution of Manipuri style of dancing. He devoted his whole life to the promotion of Manipuri Raas technique.


During his life time Guru Amubi established Guru Amubi Nritya Vidyalaya, a Manipuri Dance Training Centre in 1948 and Manipuri Jagoi Marup a performing troupe in 1963. The great Guru gave up his body on June 29, 1972.


To read all articles by author  Both pictures courtesy Manipuri Jagoi Marup. 


Also read

1. Manipur Dance a Journey

2. Homage to Guru Amubi Singh

3. Preservation of Classical Manipuri Dancing

4. Manipuri Dances – extending the boundaries

5. A Tribute to her Guru by Devyani C

6. Showcasing India through Music and Dance


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