Theatre

An effective performance

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The play on Ramana Maharshi was sublime and effective

Balancing creative energies with restraint, Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning presented their Mega Theatre production, ‘Arunachala Ramana’ at Ramana Maharshi Heritage Auditorium, Bengaluru recently.

Ramana Maharshi holds a unique place of reverence as “Bhagavan” in the hearts of his devotees. It takes a dramatic genius to represent his life story to make it well-suited for the stage and attract common people to spread the timeless messages of Ramana. The event covered the vast panorama of incidents that kindled hallowed feelings of devotion, surrender and self-enquiry in the heart of his devotees. The compelling fascination, the great attraction the story of one of India’s greatest saints Sri Ramana Maharishi and about Arunachala, the land of Mukti or liberation, everything was presented in a very appealing way.

Starting from 1981, Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning has produced several dramas, dance dramas and musicals of which this present production is the 125th one, which began last year as an inspired journey and dream project of the sisters Dr. Sarada Natarajan and Dr. Ambika Kameshwar. So far the Centre has produced three parts and the effort to produce the rest is underway.

An effective performance

The two Kandams presented were - Bala Kandam and Jnana Kandam that covered the story of Ramana up till his enlightenment at Madurai as a boy of 16.

The introduction to the play was by G. Kameshwar, a prolific author from Chennai and the concept, script, direction and presentation was by Dr. Sarada Natarajan and Dr. Ambika Kameshwar. Music was provided by Ramananjali led by Smt. Sulochana Natarajan. The main characters - Ramana from Bala to Jnana Kanda was donned by Dhanyashri, Sonica, Anthara, Revathi, Arunesh, Lord Shiva was played by Ujwal Jagadeesh, the three roles of Devi Sahaayamba, Azhagamma and Desha were played by Dr. Ambika Kameshwar and Dr. Sarada enacted the roles of the blind lady and Kaala and provided the narration right through. The amalgam of senior artistes and junior artistes made the presentation vibrant with fine costumes and overall framework.

Bala kandam depicted the events of Pralaya, creation etc and the way they could project on stage the manifestation of light, Devi Sahaayamba as the divine guide etc was remarkable. The birth of Ramana, his childhood days, his kindness and deep knowledge and his father Sundaram Iyer’s death, who was considered an embodiment of Dharma, how young Ramana internalized all that, was wonderfully presented. The attractive dialogue exchange between characters, the story build up, the narration – everything was effortlessly professional. Self-enquiry is the route to keep the human mind pure and uncontaminated was Ramana’s message and the play duly conveyed it.

The dramatic skill of the team came across evidently in each scene and was enhanced by the way the story was presented with lyrical beauty that appealed to both mind and heart. Various episodes from Ramana’s life were depicted by employing appropriate props, simple, yet effective. With an artistic vision, in keeping with the theatrical conventions and other elements, they produced a visually pleasing environment which was soulful and sublime.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 1:34:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/an-effective-performance/article30039008.ece

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