Costumes for Male Manipuri Dancer
In Manipuri Dance, the male dancer wears a bright colouredDhoti. It is also referred as ‘Dhora’ or ‘Dhotra’ that covers lower part of his body from waist. The unique style of wearing it gives the dancer the flexibility to perform his footwork. A crown decorated with peacock feather adorns the dancer’s head who portrays the character of Lord Krishna. The drummers who also dance while drumming are male artists. They wear white dhoti that covers the lower part of body from waist and a whiteturban on the head. A shawl neatly folded adorns their left shoulders while the drum strap falls on their right shoulders.
Costumes for Female Manipuri Dancer
The costume of female Manipuri dancers resembles that of a Manipuri bride. The dress is referred as ‘Potlei’. These costumes were introduced for dancers characterisingGopis in ‘Rasa Lila’ dance by MeidinguBhagyachandraMaharaj. The most distinguished of these is the ‘Kumil’ costume that is an exquisitely embellished long skirt in the shape of a barrel with a stiffened bottom. The skirt is embroidered with fine gold and silver works decorated with small mirror pieces and designs of lotus and other natural items as border prints. It is layered with a transparent silk or ‘Pasuan’. A velvet choli or blouse adorns the upper part of the body and a translucent veil white in colour covers the head. The dancer wears round shapedjewellery or garlands of flowers to adorn her face, hand, neck, waist and legs that synchronize well with her costume.
Names of Costumes for Manipuri Dancer
Costumes and its terms related to the costumes and ornaments used in Manipuri Dance are as follows -
• Potlei:Ras costume of Sri Radhika and the Gopis.
• Koknam: A gauze at overhead, embossed with silver Jari.
• Meikhumbi: A transparent and thin veil thrown over the head.
• Kumin: An Embroidered brightly coloured silk skirt.
• Pasuan: A short flair of silver gauze over the Kumin.
• Khaon: Rectangular embroidered piece with belt.
• Koktombi: Cap covering the head.
• Thabret: A griddle round the waist.
•Khangoi: Small rectangular belt over the Pasuan.
•Leitreng: Golden ring round the head.
• Chura: Made of peacock feathers, wired on top of head.
• Feichom: Dhoti, a saffron dress.
• Ghungur: Ornament for the foot.
Thus, the entire get up of the Manipuri dancers performing gracefully onstage complimented with devotional music gives the feel of watching floating apsaras.