|Ranganiketan (Drummers of Manipur, India)|
Ranganiketan drummers come from an isolated Indian state at the foothills of the himalayas bordering Myanmar. Due to its isolation, the drumming traditions are very unique in Indian drum traditions. For one, they have retained a stylized and acrobatic dance in which the drummers carry dholaks (similar to their Indian sister drum of the same name) or pung (pictured above, a drum that appears like a fusion of the East Indian Khol and the Thai Sawng Na) as they do gentle body motions accenting the beats.
The most electrifying portion of the performance is the Dhon Dholak Cholam which is the more vigorous and syncopated dance using the dholak and a large bass drum called the Dhon which is at certain points placed on the floor and struck by the drummer as he spins through the air in twirling in a circular pattern around the drum. (similar to the acrobatic Korean Poongmul tradition)
Pung Cholam is the more graceful mystical dance performed with the pung which bears some similarities to the Dhon Dholak Cholam but that it's performed with the drummers dressed like Hindu god figurines and head-dress.
Also interesting to note is the use of a drum similar to the Thai Taphon which is used in certain of the dance numbers performed by the troup. Demonstrating that Manipuris listen to drum influences from the east as well as the west. (Pictured in the slideshow below)
For Ranganiketan Slideshow
For Ranganiketan Schedule and Movies
Rhythmuseum Indian Drumming Website