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Title:HIS HIGHNESS THE MAHARAJAH OF MANIPUR'S DANCERS [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ABY 138
Other titles:ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: The Maharajah of Manipur's official dancers perform for airmen of the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force.
Description: A young, female, Manipuri dancer performs in the open air for an audience of British, Canadian and Australian airmen. The dancer is simply dressed and her dance appears to tell a distinct narrative. A second dancer, more elaborately dressed, performs for the crowd. Two dancers perform together; one wears a large skirt-like garment with a great deal of jewellery, the other an elaboarte headdress with garlands of flowers. A single dancer performs.
Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor)
Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company)
Goozee, S (Production individual)
Shears (Sergeant) (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Air Force (regiment/service)
Royal Canadian Air Force (regiment/service)
Keywords: Manipur, India (geography)
Welfare and recreational activities and services, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event)
Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme)
India 1939-1945 (theme)
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 2
Footage: 1414 ft; Running time: 16 minutes
Notes: A rare cultural insight, all the more valuable for its live sound.
Dopesheet names the dancers as Pishak and Bimola, and the band as the Lalit Kala Bhubon Orchestra. The band appears to include a sitar, one flute-like instrument, a trumpet, drums and some sort of harmonium, possibly a samvadini.
The dance performed by the duo together may be the Ras Leela, a retelling of the sacred Hindu love story of Krishna and Radha.
Shooting location is somewhere in India's Manipur state, but given the number of RAF bases in this area it is difficult to be more precise. Alternatively the location may be one of the Maharajah's residences.
This footage appears in an edited form in the Ministry of Information's Middle Eastern newsreel 'World Pictorial News' (formerly 'War Pictorial News'). See related items.
No slates. Date as on dopesheet.