Lourembam Bedabati: "Women of Substance" in Folk Art/Culture Achiever Award
A Folk Singer of Manipur with more than 40 years of experience, has been part of more than 100 shows both national and international, a Sahitya Parishad ‘Sangeet Bhusan” awardee, a State Kala Academy Awardee, and an All India Radio B high-Grade Artist. As a Folk Singer, she performed on an international level in Paris, Madrid, Spain under the title “Orchids of Manipur” and has featured in the Amazon Prime Documentary Series Harmony with A.R. Rahman).
This year Bedabati was honored as "Women of Substance" in the award category Folk Art/Culture Achiever Award by Eta Northeast Women's Network.
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION: BEGINNING OF THE CAREER AS A FOLK SINGER:
Bedabati started her career as a singer at a very young age. She step at the feet of several Gurus (mentors) and received valuable musical training from renowned Manipuri artists. At first, she used to sing with local cultural groups. Later she became an approved artist of All India Radio, Imphal in the year 1977. She had recorded many programs for All India Radio as a singer and drama artist. Many people started noticing her singing. She then became one of the most prominent folk singers of Manipur. She has also released many folk song albums in her career some worth mentioning here are the Leirol, Lashing Lei, etc. She was also a singing artiste of the theatre group Chorus repertory Theatre. She participated and performed representing India in many prestigious international festivals. Bedabati Lourembam was born on the 1st of November, 1953, in a small village of Manipur called Seijang, located on the way to Ukhrul. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Science and B.ED from Manipur University. She is a gold medalist in Manipur dance (3yr Diploma) from the Jawaharlal Nehru Dance Academy of Manipur.
In her entire career, Lourembam Bedabati received training from well-known Gurus of Manipuri Music and Theatre.
Bedabati feature in the 3rd and 5th Episodes of Amazon Prime’s Web Documentary Series HARMONY WITH A.R. RAHMAN which was released on the 15th of August 2018. Harmony with AR Rahman is a five episodes web documentary series exploring Indian music of the past and future through the eyes of internationally acclaimed music maestro A.R. Rahman.
She was featured in the 3rd Episode “Listening to the Nature’ and the 5th episode “Mann Mauj Mein, Heart is in Ecstasy” in the web documentary series. The series was directed by Chennai-based National Award winner Film Maker Sruti Harihara Subramaniam and produced by Kavithalayaa Productions. The series was also broadcast on VH1 India in November 2019,
Represented Manipur in SANJARI, a monthly folk song concert of India organized by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, New Delhi under The Scheme of EK BHARAT SHRESTHA BHARAT., July 18, 2018.
In the year 2022, on International Women's Day Bedabati Lourembam was honored with the "Women of Substance" in Folk Art/Culture Achiever Award by Eta Nort-East women's Network.
Received Manipur STATE KALA ACADEMY AWARD in the year 2011 for an outstanding contribution to Manipur Folk Song.
Received SANGEET BHUSAN from MANIPUR SAHITYA PARISHAD in the Manipur Folk Song Category.
Member of the Expert Committee for the Scheme for Award of Scholarship to Young Artistes in Different Cultural Fields under MINISTRY OF CULTURE, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA.
Received Senior Fellowship in Folk Music- Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India-2013.
Received Komlashana Ningshing Selgi Mana (Memorial Cash Award) From Manipur Sahitya Parishad for Khunung Eshei (Manipur Folk Song). Currently working as a Guest Faculty of Department of Music, MANIPUR UNIVERSITY OF CULTURE.
Bedabati participated in many states, national and international festivals as a folk singer, dancer, and actor. Some of the festivals she had participated in so far are:
Festival of India, USSR-1987-88 (Moscow, Leningrad, Minsk, Brest, Gomet, Mongilence, Vilabsk, Smolunsk, Tasinkent).
Toga International Festival, Japan 1995-Chorus Repertory Theatre Festival, and Avignon, France- 1995.
Festival of India in Thailand, 1995 (Bangkok, Chiangmai).
South Asian Theatre Festival, Dhaka - 1997.
50th Years of Indian Independents Day in Sri Lanka-1997, Govt. of India. Festival of Adelaide, Australia – 1998.
New Zealand Theatre of Nations, Zurich, Switzerland-1998.
7th Festivals International De Arts Cenicas, Sao Paulo, Brazil-1998.
India Trade Fair Exhibition in Dhaka, Bangladesh-1998.
Chorus Repertory Theatre/ USA Tour Itinerary-2000 (Washington DC- Amherst, Massachusetts, Twin Cities- Minneapolis/ Saint Paul, Bekerley, California- Los Angeles, Tucson, Arizona- Durham, North Carolina, New York City, New York).
International Theatre Festival, Japan and Barbican International Theatre Events, 2002- UK.
Spring Arts Festival, Shizuoka, japan-2002.
Festival Biennale, Bonn (Germany)-2006.
Singapore Arts Festival-2008.
International Theatre Festival in Japan-2009 (Toga Festival).
Festival in China-2010, Govt. of India.
2nd International Conference of Manipuri Literature & Culture-2011 at Bangladesh.
Manipur Sangai Festival, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Manipur Shirui Festival 2017, Ukhrul.
Manipur Pineapple Festival 2017
CONTRIBUTION IN MANIPURI FOLK MUSIC:
1. “KHUNUNG ESHEI NACHOM” means “Bunch of Folk Songs” in English, a collection of folk songs book composed by Lourembam Bedabati was released on 31st January 2021. The book is a gift for the young generation who love Manipuri Folk Songs and want to promote the tradition.
2. Bedabati has more than 37 Years of experience in teaching Traditional Manipuri Folk songs. She established SHEISHAKKOL Bedabati Khunung Eshei Sheidamshang in the year 2014. SHEISHAKKOL is a pioneer institute of Manipur Folk song. The objective of this institute is to save the indigenous dying music tradition of Manipur. She had trained more than 200 artists in the field of Traditional Song and Dance, especially on Khulang Eshei/ Khunung Eshei. She produced “LIKLAM 2014, and “LIKLAM 2” A Khunung Eshei Program by Student of Sheishakkol Bedabati Khunung Eshei Sheidamshang on completion of 3 month seventh Khunung Eshei Training Course.