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Ras Lila: the Manipuri Dance

One of the major classical dance forms of India, Manipuri dance  originated in the north-eastern state of Manipur. Characterized by its gentle, rhythmic and delicate movements, the feet of the Manipuri dancer never impacts much hard on the floor. Slow and gracious movements differentiate Manipuri from other dance styles of India.

One of the most popular dances of Manipur is Ras Lila. Ras Lila is the epitome of the Manipuri classical dance and is interwoven through the eternal love story of Krishna, Radha and the Gopikas. It is usually performed throughout the night in an enclosure in front of a temple.

The performers in the Ras Lila wear elaborate costumes. The Gopikas usually wear a red dress while Radha stands out in green. The skirts of these female dancers are cylindrical in shape and is very attractive. A number of instruments like Pung (small cymbals), a string instrument called Pena and a flute are also used.

This video clip has been shot at OCTAVE 2008, North eastern cultural festival held at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala State, India.