Friday, 12 October 2007

A Brief Biography of Sri Kunjo Singha

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata
Sri Kunjo Singha
Sri Kunjo Singha, one of the renowned names in the field of Bishnupriya Manipuri dance, is one of the most dazzling and talented disciple of Guru Bipin Singh. He is a very renowned teacher of Manipuri dance and drum dancing, and has reached the peaks and heights of it.


Born on 31st Dec 1951, Kunjo Singha was the youngest amongst five siblings - one sister and four brothers. As he lost his father Late Shri Sangam Singha and mother Late Smt. Tambi Devi at an early age, he could not continue his studies and thought of mastering in the art of Lathi Khela. But Pandit Vijay Mukherjee ( Rashdari) asked Sri Kunjo Singha to get training of Manipuri Dance and thus he started his initial training from Pandit Vijay Mukherjee.


Once Guru Bipin Singh, on one of his usual visit to his village (Singari) asked Shri Bangshi Singha (Dakula) to arrange a Bishnupriya Manipuri boy to accompany him to Manipur, who would help him in his daily chores and also to get training in Manipuri Dance. Bangshi Singha recommended Sri Kunja Singha's name and thus he accompanied Guru Bipin Singh to Manipur at the age of nineteen and thus started the formation of the life of a legendary in Manipuri Dance.

After six years of rigorous training, Sri Kunjo Singha earned the title of “Visharad” in the year 1976. It was the consequence of hard, sincere and dedicated training of six years. Along with Manipuri Dance he has a very deep versatility and specialization in drum dancing. After attaining 'Visharad' he shifted his base from Manipur to Kolkata (then Calcutta) along with Guruji.

Sri Kunjo Singha started stage performance in the year 1977 and since than he paved his way to different tours in various parts of India. After that he not only performed in Indian stages but also performed in foreign countries including France, Russia and Italy along with the world famous Jhaveri sisters and carved a niche in the name of fame at a very short span. (Article on Jhaveri sisters in the Hindu)

In the year 1987, he went to Holland, Canada and Thailand with the Bengal Service Society. In the year 1997 i.e. on the 50th year of Indian Independence he was invited as an Indian Embassy to Burma and over and above he was given the golden opportunity to perform there. Again he visited Sweden via London in the year 1999, along with the troop of Manipuri Nartanalaya to perform Mridanga and Dhol Chalan under the I.C.C.R. Organisation.

Sri Kunjo Singha, though a Bishnupriya Manipuri and hailed from Silchar, he is very much attached to the land of Bengal. Thus in the year 1983 he rejected the post of Dance Lecturer in Khairaghar Indira University, Madhya Pradesh. Again after six months he joined Kala Mandir, Patna as a Dance Lecturer but left the job after three months and returned to Kolkata. After returning from Patna Sri Kunjo Singha joined Rabindra Bharati University and served there as a part time teacher for seven long years (1986-92) but ultimately in the year 1993 his post as a dance teacher was made permanent and he is still there and is very popular among the students.

Sri Kunjo Singha is the Founder Director of Manipuri Nartanalaya and is the Founder of Manipuri Nartanangam.

Above his professional life Sri Kunjo Singha has a personal life too. His family comprises of his wife and a twelve years old daughter. He got married on 14th of August 1983 to Meera Singha, daughter of Late Sri Rajkumar Singha and Smt. Tombi Sena Devi of village Singari, Silchar. Smt. Meera Singha is also a prominent dancer. His daughter Miss Konkona Singha is a student of Seventh Standard and is a talented and renowned name in the field of Manipuri Dance. She at this tender age has the capability of making the audience cry with her performance. Konkona gave her first stage performance at the age of four and a half year.

Sri Kunjo Singha says that there is no end to learning and he says he feels till date that he has lot more to learn.
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