Kalavati Devi



Born in 1948 in Nambol village in Manipur, Shrimati Kalavati Devi learnt Manipuri dance under Shrimati Khetri Tombi Devi, Shrimati Aiga Kumari Devi, and guru Bipin Singh. She received training in vocal music from Shrimati Gambhini Devi, and learned Pung-playing under Shri Ibungomacha Sharma and Shri Meitei Tomba Singh. Shrimati Kalavati Devi began her teaching career in Manipur in the mid-1960s at Shri Govindajee Nartanalaya. In 1972, she established a branch of the Manipuri Nartanalaya in Calcutta, an institution founded in Mumbai and Calcutta by her teacher and husband Shri Bipin Singh, in collaboration with the Jhaveri sisters. At the Calcutta centre, Shrimati Kalavati Devi has conducted workshops and choreographed several dance- dramas based on Tagore’s work. Shrimati Kalavati has also headed the department of Manipuri dance at Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta, where she has trained a number of promising dancers of the younger generation. She has co-authored several books on Manipuri dance including Manipuri Nartan, Manipuri Tala Prakash, and Shastriya Manipuri Nartan with Shrimati Darshana Jhaveri. As an exponent of Manipuri dance, she has performed in various parts of the country, as well as several countries abroad. She has been honoured by the Manipur State Kala Academy in 2003. Shrimati Kalavati Devi receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribu- tion to Manipuri dance.