Ramayana Kalpavrksam in Hyderabad: a smorgasbord of classical music, dance, talks and workshops

Bharatanatyam dancer Ananda Shankar Jayant talks about the inspiration for the three-day multi-arts festival

March 30, 2023 02:38 pm | Updated 02:41 pm IST

Abhilash Venkitachalam and Sai Vignesh

Abhilash Venkitachalam and Sai Vignesh | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Come March 31, Hyderabadis could participate in Ramayana Kalpavrksam, a three-day multi-arts festival centred around the Ramayana. Conceptualised by Hyderabad-based Bharatanatyam guru Ananda Shankar Jayant, the festival features activities to suit different ages and interest groups. “Telling and retelling the Ramayana has not tired the narrator, the viewer, the seer or the doer; we continue to engage with it. With that idea we also want to bring in a different audience perspective and engagement towards traditional and non-traditional art forms in the city,” says Ananda. The festival coincides with Srirama Navami on March 30.

Ananda Shankar Jayant

Ananda Shankar Jayant | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

With her favourite epic Ramayana as an overarching umbrella for varied events, choosing Ramayana Kalpavrksham for the festival title was easy; it borrows from the book Srimadramayana Kalpavrkshamu by the late Vishwanada Satyanarayana. “I sought permission from the family to use the title.”

Anupama Kylash

Anupama Kylash | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

While music, dance performances and workshops have been curated by Ananda, talks and discourses in the mornings have been curated by Kuchipudi dancer Anupama Kylash.

Choodamani Pradhanam, a very popular 1968 dance drama by Kalakshetra, sets the tone of the festival on March 31, with a live orchestra. The narration starts with Sita’s abduction by Ravana and ends with Hanuman bringing back the choodamani to Rama.

A team of musicians headed by Dilkash Bharti Sadanand Vishwakarma recites Sundara Kanda from Tulasidas’ Ramayan on April 1 at 7.30am. The one-and-a-half-hour recitation will be followed by talks by Ami Ganatra, Hemant Pandey and Nagaraj Paturi

 Supreme court advocate J Sai Deepak

 Supreme court advocate J Sai Deepak | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

While workshops by Hema Kannan and Rahul Teddy on April 1 and 2, from 2.30pm onwards are for enthusiasts of rangoli and garlands.

Anupama Hoskare’s puppets will regale the audience at 6pm, followed by Bhavayayami Raghuramam, a dance performance by Shankarananda Kalakshetra, headed by Ananda. The day ends with a Harikatha Navarasa Ramayanam by Visakha Hari.

TK Saroja and TK Sujatha lead a Ram Ayana walk and nagara sankeertana on April 2 at 7.30am followed by Pancharatna kriti singing by senior musician Sweta Prasad and her group. The talks on Ramayana by Vinay Varanasi, Gauri Mahulikar, Surajit Dasgupta and Ramaa Bharadvaj are scheduled in the afternoon.

The evening includes a talk on lessons from the Ramayana by Supreme court advocate J Sai Deepak followed by a musical performance by Abhilash Venkitachalam of Super Singer and Sai Vignesh (of ‘Varaha roopam’ fame from the film Kantara).

While a caterer provides food for registered participants, a cultural brand showcase and small market featuring artisanal products is also part of the festival. . While the talks are free for all, ₹300 is the fee for workshops.

Ramayana Kalpavrksam, a three-day dance festival will be held at CCRT, Madhapur from March 31 to April 2 at For registrations: wwwramayanakalpavrksam.com

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