The small, beautiful state of Manipur lies between the Assam hills and the Indo - Burma border. Dance and music is a way of life for the Manipuris. Legend has it that while searching for a suitable place to hold his rasa (union) with Parvati, Lord Shiva came across this place which was verdant, lush, secluded and girdled by hills but which happened to be full with water. Since the place was very attractive, Shiva thrust his trident right through it and all the water sieved through.
Manipuri depicts a highly intricate and creative dance form. The dancer's feet face forward and knees are slightly bent. The dancer moves his or her chest and waist in opposite directions, making a figure-of-eight shape with the body. The dancer's arms make graceful, curved movements. His or her fingers trace out delicate circles and curves in the air. The Manipuri style includes several types of repertoire (range of dances). Five types, consisting of dancing by whole troupes, as well as dance solos and duets, deal with a story about Krishna. Another body of dances, the Sankirtanas, involves male dancers performing jumps to the sound of drums, cymbals, and clapping.