Ravana, the Hero

Sridevi Nrityalaya’s dance-drama showcased the positive side of the epic villain.

January 05, 2012 04:38 pm | Updated July 25, 2016 07:18 pm IST - Krishna Gana Sabha

Scene from Ravaneswaran. Photo by Special Arrangement

Scene from Ravaneswaran. Photo by Special Arrangement

Ravaneswaran was an exquisite performance by the students of Sridevi Nrithyalaya of Sheela Unnikrishnan at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha on December 29. Choice episodes from the life of the emperor of Lanka were presented depicting him as a hero. Involving about 80 dancers, the play was rich in all aspects of dance such as nritta, nritya and abhinaya, but it gave more scope to Vaachikam and aahaaryam.

The kavuthavam was rich in nritta with 16 dancers forming a number of patterns. Ravana made his entry accompanied by his two brothers Kumbakarna, Vibeeshana and mother Kaikasi.

S. Gayathri as Ravana looked quite absorbed in music. Ragas and swaras were explained through movements and formations by agile dancers.

Aggression and action dominate as Ravana vows to annihilate Vishnu for making away with the lingam his mother was worshipping, the emperor woos Parvati, who assumes the form of Mahakali. Harini Jeevita showed myriad expressions in these segments. Kailash was a graceful picture with Siva played by Kamala Devi.

Ravana comes across beautiful Mandodari and marriage is in the air. The situation provided an interlude with girls erupting into joyful dance. Ilavarasikku Kalyanam was a lilting folk number. The formation of the Atma Lingam by girls dressed in black was amazing. Sandhya Mohan as Ganapati impressed with her footwork.

Varsha Bala Bhrathi (hermit Ravana) deserves a word of praise for showing pain and agony as he tries to please Siva by turning his body into an instrument.

Depiction of Ravana’s arrogance was followed by his downfall, captured through a tillana. Here dancers became narrators and enacted the entire Ramayana.

The ballet concluded on a positive note with Ravana attaining Moksha because of his deep Siva bhakti.

The dance ballet will be presented tomorrow,January 7, at Mylapore Fine Arts Club and at Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium on January 21 (both at 7.30 p.m. ).

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