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Sun Apr 21 2013, 5:00pm

Where: Esplanade Theatre Studio , 1 Esplanade Drive, Marina Bay, Singapore

Restrictions: All ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $25.00
  • Additional fees may apply

“Go forth and bring prosperity to mankind.” So says the Supreme God to Phou-oibi before sending her and her friends out on a pilgrimage to Lamlen Madam Madaima, where mankind lives.

So begins the tale of Phou-oibi, The Rice Goddess -- a ballad opera based on the traditional harvest mythology of the Meitei people, who live in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur.

Today, this ancient story is brought to you by acclaimed director M. Mangangsana and his Manipuri group, Laihui Ensemble.

Their contemporary take on this ancient art form rarely seen outside of the region uses music, dance and theatre to tell the story of how the goddess came to the Meitei people and established the harvest rituals that have shaped their lives since.

Featuring a collaborative process between its performers, musicians and artists, Laihui Ensemble’s The Rice Goddess gives free rein to its artists to improvise, and in doing so, allows them to reconstruct a traditional art form into a contemporary setting.

Adding life to the dance and dialogue is music from traditional musical instruments of the region. A unique blend of elaborate costume designs, modern stage lighting and sound arrangements also serve to give this production a different twist.

As much as it is a showcase of the region’s rare indigenous performing arts, Laihui Ensemble’s The Rice Goddess is also, in fact, a ritual in a non-ritualistic space -- one that will both bind audiences with exceptional story-telling and challenge traditional notions of performance.