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Ramayana retold

RANEE KUMAR
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Dance The dance ballet depicted Ramayana without losing the narrative. RANEE KUMAR

Epic Tale The graceful performance of Ramayana.
Epic Tale The graceful performance of Ramayana.

The Shata sloki Ramayanam dance ballet that concluded the Nrityosavam 2011 hosted by T.S.R. Lalitha Kala Parishath and Sruti Art Academy, was more of ‘rupakam' (theatre). Nevertheless, it was presented in an impressive manner with flashes of creativity in the form of props like the golden deer enacted by a child artiste fully camouflaged with a deer skin-like dress complete with horns et al, the boat (navigated by Guha) that carts Rama, Sita and Lakshmana across the Sarayu, a fleet of artificial birds being flown across the stage in string technique to enhance the Panchavati scene with its thatched little hut made an impact on the audience and embellished the performance. Similarly, certain scenes deserve a mention like the scene of Dasaratha-Kaikeyi argument where the artiste enacting the role of Dasaratha showed restraint and pathos with an air of authenticity which was laudable; similarly in the Vali-Sugreeva combat scene where the two artistes lunge at each other, had all the trappings of enraged kin at war; Ravana (Ajay) was perhaps the best performer whose entry was marked by dignity . He looked convincing and acted with conviction and created an aura for himself despite the negativity of the character.

Though Kaushik Babu (who played Rama) is known to be a good actor with good looks, the excessive blue paint made his facial expressions stiff. The positive aspect of the drama was that the events unfolded in quick succession which was very welcome and the entire Ramanyana was told in a nutshell without losing grip of the narrative. Sruthakeerti, dressed as Swami Ganapathi Sacchidananda of Mysore Datta Peetam (who penned Shata sloki Ramayanam ) pops in and out as the narrator of the play, which was a brilliant piece of innovation that carried the message loud and clear. Kudos to Surabhi's stage management. The live orchestra was enlivening with Subbalakshmi on the violin, Murali on the bamboo, Nageswara Rao on the percussion, Brahmanandam on the piano, Amalapuram Kanna Rao and Sharada Reddy giving vocal support. Nallanchakravarthula Raghunandan's nattuvangam was compelling. The fact that Ramayana appeals across time and age was once again testified by the houseful audience at Ravindra Bharati.


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