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A review on “Aesthetics and Culture (Performing Arts)”

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Reviewer – S. Bhubol

Title of the Book : “Aesthetics and Culture (Performing Arts)” Edited by : Pr of. Dr . M.S. Siva Raju, Head, Dept. of SN School, University of Hyderabad and PukhrambamLilabati Devi , Assistant Professor , Dept. of Dance & Music, Manipur University . Published by: Ruby Press & Co., New Delhi- 17 Foreword by : Prof. H. Nandakumar Sharma Past Vice-Chancellor , Manipur University No. of Ar ticle : 16(Sixteen) No. of Pages : 161 (One hundred and Sixty one)

The edited volume of M.S. Siva Raju, Professor in the Dance Department, S.N. School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad, and Smt. Pukhrambam Lilabati, Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance& Music, Manipur University , entitled as “Aesthetic and Culture (Performing Arts)” is indeed a well bodied book of well scrutinized articles being contributed by hardworking academic and intellectuals with tirelessly fishing in the pool of aesthetic culture by catching up the abound in beautiful ingredients the wonders of aesthetic and Culture that only human being can sense with towards differentiating self from other living beings. The book which is more than a readable one is introduced by Prof. H. Nandakumar Sharma as a work of ‘commendable beginning’ by making his epithet as “The present book …. is an attempt to explore the diverse cultural trends of the country and the state” adding that “…… the standard of development of a society can be known from its achievements in culture as culture is an indispensable part of the social life and the embodiment of the aesthetic values”. Agreeing to the forwarding remark, the editors, Prof. M.S. Siva Raju and P. Lilabati Devi readily attempt to defined what actually the Aesthetic and Culture are and the strings resembling those of the Bima (Sitar) fusing both to resonating the nightingale’ s tunes in the dancing blossoms celebrating the full moon’ s emanating the spring –rays signifying nature’ s outward forms representation its inners sanctity . It is highlighted with prefacing quote of Yuri Boreve “Man leaves life forever , Death in transforming living into non-living and death continues to live through the living, culture preserves all that has possessed, it is mankind’ s non-genetic memory “. Professor Arambam Lokendra asks, in his article, what constitute the role of artists and cultural producers at this critical movement in our history , where it is impossible to reflect in detachment the regression in our societal values and morals. While Prof. Amitta Dutt (Mookerjee) tactfully sketching the technicalities of ‘Kathak’, Makholmani Mangsaba skillfully depicts the wonderful instrumental music of Manipur with specially focusingon ‘the Pena’ ; and it is enliven again by Elam Indira Devi by her article “ Lai Haraoba Wangulon ’ with interpreting the 384 dance steps embodied in it. Dr Siva Raju is ably elaborating how the musical knowledge is shaping dance vision with emphasizing the innate beauty of ‘Raga’ and its being rendezvous by choreographic talents, performances and their pedagogy . In the meantime, Shri Rajkumar Jhaljit Singh beautifully puts up the evolution of the Ras Leela of Manipur grasping the emergence of Vaishnavite cult in the history of Manipur and then Smt. Pukhrambam Lilabati Devi, one editor of the book brings forth the aesthetic values and its unfailing relationship to the performances and the artists ushering in the lines of Dyanaslok conveying meanings as ‘bodily movement is the universe, speech is its language and the ornaments are the moon and the stars and the artists do verse them to define purity’. It is soon followed by W. Loken’, illustration of ‘Pas Khela’, the Manipuri Performing Arts taking as the background of Manipur culture with its essentially appeared outs in 1900s A.D. Encompassing another regional perspectives, Deepasree Das Sankar puts in the descriptive views of performing arts in respect of the aesthetic and cultural aspects of ‘Bihu Dance’ the national festival of Assam, that is comprised of three types such as (1) The Rangalibihu (Spring festival in month of April), (2) the Kangalibihu (in the month of October) and (3) the Voogalibihu (in the month of January). Another contributor A. Lakshmi Devi is expressing her views under the title ‘Aspect of Manipur Classical dance stating that the essential characteristics of a good artist as good looking posture, pleasing personality , talams’ synchronizing with song, movements, abhinaya etc. Elangbam Rojita skillfully describes the “Art of Classical Dance” under three sub-headings Classical, Manipuri Dance and Solo Dance. Huidrom Rakesh Singh writes on ‘Art Education the accompanied framework curriculum, LaipubamSurchandra Sharma cleanly sketches Manipuri ‘Khol’ which is followed by Dr . S. Shantibala’ s ‘The Inner meaning of Laiharaoba, Dr . R.K. Bhumisana Devi particularly examines what ‘Music’ is all about and the last but not the least article is ‘Life of Maibi, Reflection in the film Ishanou’ written by Longjam Meena Devi is equally interesting to go through. Most articles contained in this edited volume are essentially inclined on exploring the aesthetic knowledge taking as historically essence of human values, their creation, perception, appreciation and assimilation and their manifestations in the contemporary performing arts of the nation. And the goal of a performing artist is all round development of a socially significant and intrinsically valuable individual. I conclude that Dr . M.S. Siva Raju and P . Lilabati Devi, have rightly chosen the articles to fulfill their objective of editing the volume now the volume is handed over to the readers for justification and judgment. It will certainly be worth reading at once (The reviewer is the former Chairman of National Research Centre (NRC) Manipur and also the past editor of the ‘Orient Vision’, a quarterly English Journal

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