Irengbam Rajanidhi Singh

Born in June 1895 in a family of traditional performers of Aribapala, a rare form of musical theatre of Manipur, Sri Rajnidhi Singh received initial training from his grand-father Irengbam Chaodan Singh and father Maipak Singh. Later he studied with other masters in this art such as Kesho Singh, Marei Singh, Tonjam Tonjao Singh etc. At the young age of 17, he was appointed at the Durbar Aribapala as Mathang Chatpa which is the 3rd position of importance in an Aribapala troupe. When he reached the age of 40, he was appointed as Ishei Hanba, the main singer. Sri Rajanidhi Singh is a repository of several traditional ragas and talas used in Aribapala. Even at the age of 87 he performs with great facility. In Manipur he is considered as one of the outstanding perform- ers in this form of musical theatre. At present he is the head of the troupe attached to Sri Govindaji Temple of Imphal. He is also associated with Jawahar- lal Nehru Manipuri Dance Academy, Imphal as a Visiting Guru. He has been honoured by many distinguished cultural institutions of Manipur. For his eminence in the field of rare forms of traditional performing arts and his contribution to its enrichment Sri Irengbam Rajanidhi Singh receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Aribapala for 1981.