Source: The Hindu; Author: Archana Nathan; Photo Courtesy: The Hindu

The green room of Chowdiah Memorial Hall is surely not the ideal location for an interview but the sound-checks and the flutter of excitement backstage did not matter once the conversation began. Manipuri dancer Priti Patel was in Bangalore to perform and lecture at the dance workshop organised by the Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy as part of the World Dance Day celebrations. “Most of our dance forms be it Bharatanatyam or Odissi were born in the temple. But there is a difference between the Devadasis in Odissi and the dancers who danced in the temples of Manipur. The priestesses used to dance and this was born as a form of worship and not entertainment. Scholar Kapila Vatsyayan has said beautifully in her book that Manipuri is the ancient most form and yet at the same time a very modern form,” explained Priti.

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OUT OF TEMPLEs The moment you are on stage, showmanship comes in, says Priti Patel