Folktale (score) • August 2017
Folktale • Surjit Nongmeikapam, creator
Nachom Arts Foundation Manipur
Folktale is an unconditional love story between the lemon fruit and its performers. It does not have any story boundaries but narrates through body movement. The performers believe that the lemon existed even before mankind and that there are many untold stories centered around the lemon.
The performers, in search of these stories, make friends with the lemon while studying its charactertistics and qualities. In this process, the performers accept any quality of the lemon unconditionally.
The resulting folklore is an original and contemporary one for the next generation.
- text from Nachom Arts Foundation Manipur
Manipur, India • August 2017
Original score of cello & electronics for Nachom Arts Foundation Manipur's winning dance production "Folktale"
The inspiration for the cello score I developed for Folktale came from conversations with the creator Surjit Nongmeikapam and his choreograpahy while in residence at his studio space Nachom Arts Foundation Manipur in Imphal, India. Particularly compelling to me was his exploration into a tribal or indigenous movement vocabulary that communicated universally while still maintaining rooted in an inherently Meitei (Manipur tribe) identity. I worked with the melodic contours and grounded expressions of my own indigenous Hawaiian 'oli (chant) to tell in music the story of the opening choreography. This opening sequence where the dancers, connected hand to shoulder, move as one fluid entity, recalled to me the early Hawaiian folktales of navigation and resettlement. The result was an expression of the relevance, remembrance, and futurism of indigenous creative expression.
Photos courtesy of Nachom Arts Foundation Manipur