The Ramayana was presented in Indonesian style at Tirumala.
The plot remained the same, but the narration was refreshingly different. The Ramayana was narrated in Bali style by Indonesia-based Wayang Wong troupe at the open air auditorium in front of Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala last Sunday. The programme was organised as part the first anniversary celebrations of Nada Neerajanam, a novel concept of roping in leading singers, dancers and prominent theatre troupes to sing the glory of Lord Venkateswara.
The first scene of the dance ballet was on Rama's Vanavasam, which is a crucial part of the epic after the young emperor's exile. This was followed by the entry of Ravana's sister Surpanakha, the abduction of Sita, Hanuman playing an emissary to convey Rama's message in Sundarakanda, and the battle of Lanka that ends with Ravana's death. The excellent portrayal of scenes and the lively facial expressions more than compensated for the incomprehensible Bali language. For those familiar with Ramayana, every scene appeared common, but the make-up, narration and ambience were close to the traditional South Indian street-plays.
Members of the audience, who were mostly devotees visiting the hill temple, found a striking similarity between the dance movements of the artiste donning the guise of Sita and Kerala's dance form Kathakali. The 15-member orchestra comprising flutists, brass and percussion instrumentalists played a supportive role in reaching out the message, with the essence intact.
Member of Parliament Dr. Chinta Mohan, TTD's Executive Officer IYR Krishna Rao and his team of officials appreciated Budiartha Inymon, the captain of the troupe, for his effort to narrate the famous epic in their own inimitable style.