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Priti Patel

Priti Patel (b. 1960) was initiated into the world of dance at the age of five and received her training from eminent Manipuri dance gurus, Late Guru Bipin Singh and the Jhaveri Sisters. Through the rigorous training she underwent under her Gurus, especially Smt. Darshana Jhaveri, she excelled as a danseuse in this form of dance and especially in the Vaishnavite Ras Leela form of the Manipuri dance tradition. She then went on to take lessons in the pre-Vaishnavite dance forms of Thang-ta and Lai Haraoba, the martial and ritualistic forms of the Manipuri dance tradition respectively. With the intention of imparting education in this unique dance tradition, Ms.Patel laid the foundation of a school called ‘Anjika’ in Kolkata. This school has a dual curriculum that includes movement therapy for children suffering from cerebral palsy. This aspect is strengthened by the fact that she has undergone formal training from the Lesley College, Boston, USA, in dance and movement therapy and has worked with special children in collaboration with the Indian Institute for cerebral palsy. Over the years, under her leadership, Anjika has performed in several prestigious dance shows all over the world and has won a number of laurels and accolades for itself. Ms.Patel and Anjika are the recipients of several awards and felicitations including the Raza Foundation Award for contribution to Manipuri dance (2008), the Fulbright Fellowship for Performing Arts (2000- 2001); the Second Mrinalini Sarabhai Award for excellence in Classical Dance (2000), the Surendra Paul Award” for her contribution to dance in the decade 1990-1999 (2000), the Golden Rosed Prize, China (1993), and the Shiromani Award (1990), amongst others. She also has some new choreographies to her credit in which she has incorporated all the four styles, Thang-ta, Lai-Haraoba, Sankirtana, and Rasleela of Manipuri Dance. Preeti Patel lives and works in Imphal, Manipur.

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