Heisnam Tomba’s Play: Yamata Amasung Keibu Keioiba

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Playwright & Director: Heisnam Tomba
Group: Kalakshetra Imphal
Language: Manipuri
Duration: 1 hr 5 mins

The Play
The play is an attempt to interweave two folktales – Yamata no Orochi from Japan, and Keibu Keioiba from Manipur. Yamata no Orochi is a serpent-dragon in Japanese myth, who has eight heads and eight tails, and its enormous body reaches across eight valleys and eight hills. It is a legendary story of how a young ingenious boy Susanoo saves a beautiful lady Kushinada from Yamata who was about to devour her. Yamata had already devoured seven of her elder sisters. In the Manipuri tale, Keibu Keioiba is a creature having half tiger and half human features. He kidnaps a young girl Thabaton, who was home alone. However, a clever old lady manages to make Thabaton’s seven brothers take revenge and save their sister.
The play highlights the virtues of sacrifice and martyrdom through the conversation between the mythical images of Japan and Manipur interwoven together to tell the stories of two hilltops.

Director’s Note
The play is an attempt to capture two different cultural tales and explore the possibilities of interpretation of these two cultures. It is an intercultural experiment of stories, music, dance and performing traditions. However, the attempt is also to give a contemporary meaning to the rich folklore of both the cultures of Japan and Manipur.

The Director & Playwright
Heisnam Tomba began his exploration of the world of theatre with his parents, Kanhailal and Sabitri, both well-known Manipuri artists. From them he received extensive training to be a director, playwright, music director and actor-trainer. Heisnam Tomba absorbed finer nuances of these skills early in life. He has written eight plays; has directed more than ten dramas including Kshudito Pashan by Rabindranath Tagore and An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen; and has been the music director for two of Kalakshetra’s best known productions, Dakghar and Draupadi. He specializes in voice and movement training, and has taught at institutions in Delhi, Mumbai, Mysore, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Guwahati, Patna, Heggodu, Bangladesh and Singapore. His versatility received recognition when he was awarded the National Sanskriti Award and Senior Fellowship by the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi. He has directed an off-beat feature film Nobap in Manipuri.

The Group
Established in 1969 by late Shri Heisnam Kanhailal, Kalakshetra Manipur has evolved a distinctive theatrical style that is predominantly non-verbal. The group is dedicated towards expressing the realities of oppression and resistance that are a part of day-to-day living in Manipur today, through plays like Pebet and Memoirs of Africa. Other major productions of the group are Tamna-Lai (Haunting Spirit), Keibu-Keioiba (Half Man-Half Tiger), Khomdon Meiroubi, Imphal ’73, Izzat, Karna, Lajja, Kshudito Pashan, Draupadi, Dakghar, Samnadraba Mami (Disjointed Image), Hungry Stone and An Enemy of the People.

Cast & Credits
Yamata                                           Maisnam Momocha
Keibu Keioiba (1)                            Kshetrimayum Priyobrata Singh
Keibu Keioiba (2)                            Pangambam Tyson Meitei
Susanoo                                         Romario [email protected]
Iben Hanubi                                    Kh. Sanjukta Devi
Mapa                                              Ahanthem Upendro Mangang
Mama                                             Huidrom Holina
Kushinada                                      Roslin Akoijam Chanu
Thaba                                             Thangjam Salini Devi
Mithingai                                        Guru Koken
Chorus                                           Takhellambam Budhichandra
Anantakumar Longjam
Lanchingna Laishram

Light                                               Laishram Ibochouba
Sound Designer                             Oinam Prasanjit (Boby)
Music Arranger                              Moirangthem Bise
Music Operator                              Moirangthem Prasanta Singh
Crafts                                             Ch. Kunjakeshwar
Costume                                        Khumanthem Sanjukta
Make-up                                        Huidrom Holina
Set & props                                   Guru Koken
Theme Picture Sketches               Wahwngbam Robin
Yamata Written by                         Prof. Devraj
Translation (Manipuri)                    Prof. IS Kangjam
Translation (Manipuri to Eng.)       Dr. Usham Rojio
Production Manager                       Kh. Ushakanta Singh
Assistant Director                           Pangambam Tyson Meitei
Production                                      Kalakshetra Manipur
Acknowledgements                       Phurailatpam Nandakumar Sharma
Ningombam Jadumani

Playwright & Director                     Heisnam Tomba

Contacts
Director
Kalakshetra Manipur
Langol Laimanai, Lamphel, Imphal – 795004
M: +91 7641031211
E: [email protected]

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is Currently a Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he teaches are: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in & www.stagebuzz.info He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He is an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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