Dance is a vital essence to his body and mind, through which he aspires to reach heights in the Manipuri; making a remarkable voyage in dance. Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar Awardee Sinam Basu Singh shared his artistic views and his journey of dance with the ‘The Dance India Exclusive’.
Hailing from the state of Manipur, Sinam Basu Singh is a committed, versatile and promising young exponent of Manipuri dance. Basu was born in Sagolband Moirang Hanuba Leirak, Imphal West and is the paternal grandson of Maestro Meitei Pung (Manipuri Classical Drum) player Shri Sinam Bokul Singh and maternal grandson of Moirangthem Mangi Singh was also an eminent Manipuri Nata-Sankirtana Singer.
The culture of performing arts runs in his veins, as Basu hails from the family of artists and has been brought in an environment of rich culture and heritage. The bloom of his dance career has been and still is being nurtured by his Gurus N.Tiken Singh, W. Lokendrajit Singh and Y. Hemantakumar.
Basu holds a diploma from Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal and a first-class Master degree in Manipuri dance from Visva-Bharati University. Currently, he is into research (Ph.D) in dance form from the same university.
‘Manipur being a land of dance and music and also a land of festivals’ fostered his way towards dancing. Since childhood, his aspiration into dance arouse by being a part in the traditional festivals of Manipur like Lai- Haraoba, Ras Leela, Yaosang, Rath yatra, Jhulon Jatra, Krishna Janma, Rahda Janma, Durga Puja. He always was interested in participating in cultural activities on these festivals. Ever since then, his inclination and enthusiasm to learn dance augmented.
Belonging from a family who respects the arts, Sinam credits his parents, revered gurus and friends, playing the lion’s share in his voyage of becoming a dancer. His major support throughout his learning time was his mother.
On significance of Manipuri Classical Dance has, he says “Manipuri Dance has been recognized and famous; not only in India but also in countries abroad. I can say the Manipuri Classical Dance itself, fabricated into the main stream of the Indian Classical Dance. I am proud practitioner of the dance form as it stands in a gracious place in the rich cultural arts of India like other classical dance of India.”
Besides dance, Basu has learned various aspects of other arts like Thang-Ta(Martial Art of Manipur), Pung Cholom, Kartal Cholom, Pena, Mime, Natasankritan, and Folk songs
Being financially unstable during his academic period was a challenging moment for Basu. Only his self-motivation and confidence made him to overcome the black shadow of crisis and shine with a ‘Ray of hope’ as a scholar and a performing artist. Since then, Basu never looked back or was never deceived by a hurdle.
As appreciation is the most valuable gift for an artist, Basu also has experienced one such moment while performing in the BRICS YOUTH SUMMIT 2016 at Russia, where a woman in the audience was mesmerised with his act and was in tears by the end of the performance. These tears of joy and appreciation for his work stand as one of his best moments in his dance journey.
His dance routine strictly adheres to a pre-planned practice time table. He manages strict diet and exercise to be a healthy performing artiste. He believes ‘diet and exercise are the primary factor for our health one cannot achieve their dancing goals without good breathing and health’. He occasionally indulges in of choreography and theatre plays at university level. In his leisure, he enjoys travelling, reading books, and gardening.
Five years ago, when he visited and participated many festival organised by different states of India and abroad, the appreciation of the people of these places their encouragement of the audience and their revered invitations to perform in national dance festivals stirred up his enthusiasm and inspired him to work harder. He wishes to contribute to the Manipur Culture and make a mark in the rich cultural history of India.
In the years to come, Basu aspires to strive to attain utmost skill in the Manipuri, with extensive hard work and labour and also hopes to explore and experiment contemporary dance in a refined systematic way.
According to Basu, Dance festivals help an artiste to mingle and meet many other artistes from various other states and around the world and draw motivation to thrive ahead in the field of arts. He also claims that dance festivals act as positive medium of inter-cultural exchange between various artists and dance forms. Such festivals promote the culture of India lies with unity in diversity.
Sinam Basu Singh has received accolades from the art connoisseurs and scholars for the grace, beauty, lyricism and power of the vibrant dance and the technique of his choreographies like Geet Govindam,SarasaVasante, KamdevNartan , Shiva Panchakshara, Classical Production 2016 .
His performance has taken him across the length and breadth of the country and abroad to the various prestigious concerts, such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, Australia, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam Japan, he said that participating and performing in abroad is a golden chance for the Indian artist it give a chance to show the gorgeous aesthetic sense of Indian classical dance to the audience through this we promote our Indian art and culture through this festivals in abroad. Basu is an approved “A” grade artist of National Doordarshan, Delhi and also empanelled for ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relation).
He has been honoured with innumerable awards like National Scholarship (Ministry of culture), “Nrityanjali” the best male dancer of North East India, Sringarmani, Natyasree award, World Dance Day award and Amaravathi National Award from Nataraj Music and Dance Academy, Kalaajeeva, Nritya Jyoti, Nritya Shiromoni, Naatya Kumara Puraskar, Naatya Tarang Yuva Puraskar, Sastriya Sangeet Kala Ratna Sanmaan, Sri Jayadev Rastriya Yuva Prathibha Puraskar, Amrvati, IIDF 2016, Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2012 by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.
He conducted numerous workshops and gave lectures and demonstrations in India and abroad. Currently, apart from his research in dance, he is also officiating as choreographer of the production unit “Progressive Artist Laboratory” (PAL) an organisation of Dance and Music.
Basu feels, representing India abroad as a performing artiste is a golden chance for any artist as it gives a chance to present the beautiful aesthetics sense of Indian Classical Dance to the foreign audience. He performing abroad promotes exchange of culture as it will augment the qualities of Indian Classical Dance developing the Cultural relations and cultural exchange programmes of India and other countries of the World. With such global thoughts and focus towards the dance form with dedicated research in dance allows Basu to shine as a ‘Ray of Hope’ contributing to the state of Manipur and to the country.