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“Our tribute to Oja Sanakhya Ebotombi”

by IT Web Admin
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Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham – top Icon of Manipuri arts, culture and literature left for his heavenly abode in the spring morning of 13th April 2016.
Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham (5th September 1946-13th April 2016) was a Playwright, theatre/film director and writer born in Imphal,Manipur.He was a top Icon of Manipuri Kala (Arts),Sanskriti (Culture) and Sahitya (literature) as claimed by many renowned artist, intellectuals and fellow scholars. He was trained in the esteemed and prestigious institute of National School of Drama, Delhi in his early age.
He was the Founder and Director of “Avant Garde” theatre center in Imphal where he had trained many drama and theatre artist in Imphal and from other parts of India.He was one of the theatre personality producing many actors and actresses in the field of theatre,art and film industry. He was a firm believer in working of his cultural roots and tried to imbibe the Manipuri traditions and culture in many of his works.
Sanakhya Ebotombi wrote many articles,books on Nat Sankritan,short stories,plays etc.and many other publications in relation to drama and theatre. He was an exponent on Nat Sankritan (Sankirtana encompasses an array of arts performed to mark religious occasions and various stages in the life of Manipuri Vaishnavites. It is practiced at the Centre of temples, where performers narrate the lives and deeds of Krishna through songs and dances). He also claimed “Lai Haraoba as the oldest theatre tradition of Manipur in one of his publications (Lai Haraoba, the oldest Theatre Tradition of Manipur, EZCC, 1988)
Sanakhya Ebotombi mainly focused on raising and promoting many young local talents for theatre and films and has numerous followers. He was one of the eight prominent members who represented the Indian contingent in Indian Festival held in Moscow, Russia during the late 80’s.
To the surprise of many, he declined to accept the State Kala Academy and other awards conferred on him.However, he did receive 2 awards Viz. Natya Ratna awarded by Manipuri Sahitya Parisad in May 2007 and Neta Irabot memorial award in September 2012 as he was persistently persuaded by many of his young students and scholars.
He also has mentored and directed many Bollywood actors and actress in many of his plays in Manipuri style. Some of them are Deepa Sahi,Ashutosh Rana, Jaya Seal, Hrishikesh Joshi, Rajpal Yadav etc.
Some of his works are listed below:

·    Acted and Directed plays for Aryan Theatre, 1964 – 1973
·    Founded Avant Garde Theatre Imphal, 1972
·    Studied Tribal Ritual Theatre of Manipur, 1976 – 1979
·    Founded National Theatre Studies Imphal, 1980
·    Studied Vaisnavite Theatre of Manipur, 1980 – 1985
·    Conducted theatre workshops, 1976 – 1996
·    Experimented on Theatre of Essence, 1985 –
·    Studied on Tala System of Nata Sankirtana 1993 –

Plays Directed (Selected Few):
    The Cage (Manipuri), Mario Fratti, Aryan Theatre, 1971
·    Waiting for Godot (Manipuri), Samuel Becket, Avant Garde, 1977
·    Andha Yug (Manipuri), Dharmabir Bharati, Sate Kala Akademi, 1987
·    Shantata Court Chalu Ahe (Manipuri), Vijay Tendulkar, Avant Garde, 1979
·    Caucasian Chalk Circle (Manipuri), Bertolt Breechit, Avant Garde, 1980
·    Baki Itihas (Hindi), Badal Sircar, National School of Drama, 1981
·    Adhe Adhure (Manipuri), Mohan Rakesh, Avant Garde, 1981
·    The Seagul (Manipuri), Anton Chekov, Khoriphaba Artistes Assn. 1982
·    Leharon ke Raj Hansa (Manipuri), Mohan Rakesh, Chorus Repertory Theatre, 1983
·    Abhigyan Sakuntalam, Kalidas (Hindi), National School of Drama, 1986
·    Khamba Yelhou, Mani Mairembam, E. Department, 1986
·    Abhigyan Sakuntalam (Hindi), Kalidas, Ranga Mandal, Bharat Bhawan, 1987
·    Kangleipakta Sunugi Paphal (Translation Manipuri), Bertolt Breechit
·    Swapana Vasabadatam (Hindi), National School of Drama, 1993
·    Kakhraba Kokyam, G.C. Tongbra, Avant Garde,1994
·    Aashad Ka Ek Din (Manipuri), Mohan Rakesh, IPA, (Realistic), 1995
·    Aashad Ka Ek Din (Hindi), Mohan Rakesh, NSD, (Non Realistic / Experiment), 1996

Theatre Workshops Conducted:
·    For Aryan Theatre Imphal, sponsored by MSKA, 1976
·    For Rupmahal Artist Association, sponsored by MSKA, 1977
·    For Manipur Dramatic Union, sponsored by MSKA, 1977
·    For Social Dramatic Union, sponsored by MSKA, 1978
·    For Apunba Saktam Artist Association, sponsored by MSKA, 1978
·    For Prince Theatre, sponsored by MSKA, 1978
·    For Sangeet Natak Mandir, Nambol, sponsored by MSKA, 1979
·    For Kumbi Dramatic Union, sponsored by MSKA, 1979
·    For Kha Manipur Dramatic Union, Kakching, sponsored by MSKA, 1979
·    For Lairenkabi Dramatic Union, sponsored by MSKA, 1980
·    For National School of Drama, 1981
·    For National School of Drama, 1986
·    Tangkhul Language Theatre Workshop withTangkhul Actors, Jan – Feb, 1987
·    For Ranga Mandal, Bharat Bhawan, 1987
·    Paite Language Theatre Workshop with Paite Actors, Jan – Feb,1989
·    Mao Language Theatre Workshop with Mao Actors, April – May, 1990
·    For National School of Drama, 1993
·    For National School of Drama, 1996

Seminar Papers Presented:
·    Perspective on Experimental Theatre in Manipur, Theatre Centre Manipur, Oct, 1977
·    Ritual Traditions and Theatre, Rural Theatre Organisation, 1979
·    Theatre of the Tribal Folks of Manipur, State Kala Akademi, Manipur, Jan, 1980
·    Tribal Theatre in Manipur, Institute of People’s Action, Manipur, Sept, 1984
·    Folk Theatre Trend in Manipur, Panthoibi Natya Mandir, Sept, 1984
·    Purva Ranga in Manipuri Nata Sankritana (Dhrumel), Kalidas Akademi, Ujjain, Aug, 1984
·    Lai Haraoba, the oldest theatre tradition of Manipur, E.Z.C.C, Calcutta, Aug, 1986

·    Memigi Doctor, Collections of Short Stories, H.Brother’s Publications, 1964
·    Sandhya, Manipuri Novel, H.Brother’s Publications, 1969
·    Slogan, Manipuri Play, H.Brother’s Publications, 1971
·    Tamnalai, Anthology of poetry, H.Brother’s Publications, 1972
·    Manipurda Theatre Amasung Drama, National Theatre Studies, 1987
·    Footprints of Manipuri Theatre and Drama, IPTA, 1987
·    Holi Sankritana, Lakshmi NarayanNupi Holi Dal, April, 1986
·    Theatre and Fine Arts upon Describing Arts, Arts Society, 1987
·    Short play of Mario Fratti, Manipur Literacy Society, 1988
·    World Introduction of Manipuri Dance, Progressive Artistes Lab, 1983
·    Jagoishabi Loishang, Manipuri Shahitya Parisad, 1982
·    Fine Arts and Theatre, Arts Society, Manipur, 1982
·    Lai Haraoba, the oldest Theatre Tradition of Manipur, EZCC, 1988
·    The Aesthetic of Khoi at Phanek Mapal, Panthung, 1999
·    Adhivas and Drumel in Manipuri Nata Sankritana, 2002
·    A Retrospection on the Tala Theory of Nata Sankritana, 2002
·    Nata Sankirtana Taala, Gulapi Nata Sankirtana Academy, 2002
·    Bhagi Pareng Achouba, Sanchali, 2007
·    Nata Sankritana, Gulapi Nata Sankirtana Academy, 2009

Films Directed:
·    Eche Sakhi (Feature Manipuri), 1986
·    Totangkam (Documentary in English), 1990
·    Yaoshang (Documentary in English), 1991
·    Manipuri Gorkhas (Documentary in English), 1991
·    Loktak Lake (Documentary in English), 2005

Awards Conferred:
·    Natya Ratna, Manipuri Shahitya Parisad, May, 2007
·    Neta Irabot Memorial Awards, September, 2012

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