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Ramayana, the puppet dance drama at BHARANGAM2016

Opened to a full house at the Sri Ram Centre, Ramayana shows the diversity and integrity of India in a true way. It was conceived by a man from Uttar Pradesh while in Mumbai with a theme that is entirely from Rajasthan. The play is a novel combination of ballet and puppetry. The artists with stylised movements, costumes and masks create an illusion of wooden puppets. Though the masks have faces, crowns and headgears painted on them but the skillful execution by all the artists give the faces whimsical emotions. THN presents a photo journey of the theatrical.

The play starts in a village fair with two men playing the role of sutradhaar (story-tellers)
The play starts in a village fair with two men playing the role of sutradhar (story-tellers)
The city of Ayodhya is immersed in wedding celebrations of Ram and Sita
The city of Ayodhya is immersed in wedding celebrations of Ram and Sita
Ramayana
When King Dashrath decides to crown Ram as his heir, Kaikeyi (the third wife of Dashrath) asks to make her son Bharat the next king. She also asks him to send Ram and Sita into exile for 14 years
Ramayana
Ram being the obedient son decides to go to forests with Sita. His younger brother, Lakshman, decides to accompany Ram
Ramayana
Raavan, also known as Lankesh, wanted to marry Sita. When he gets the news that she is jungle, he plans to kidnap her
Ramayana
While searching for Sita, Ram meets Hanuman who is Ram’s biggest devotee. Ram and Lakshman along with Hanuman pledge to find Sita
Ramayana
Raavan kept Sita captive in Ashok Vatika, Lanka. Ramayana is an epic of the victory of good over evil. 
Ramayana
With the help of Hanuman, Ram finds Sita and fights Raavan to free her
Ramayana
After defeating Raavan, Ram and Sita go back to Ayodhya. Diwali is celebrated to welcome Ram back home
Ramayana
To depict Ram’s victory, all the artists surrender their masks to him

Interesting facts about the play, Ramayana

1. The play was first performed on January 06, 1953.
2. The costumes made at that time are still used, including the masks.
3. Till date, the play has been staged 600 times in 60 countries.

Cast and credits
Pratap Mohanta, Dipati Mohanta, Shruti Kirati Barik, Padama Sonkar, Laxman Samant, Saulat Yar Khan, Shailendra Singh, Upendra Mohanta, Vipin Salve, Kiran Maran, Monikya Panday Bohare, Apoorv Dutt Mishra, Raghvendra Yadav, Harsh Daund, Nikhil Patel, Uday Shahne, Vimlesh Patel, Ram Prakash Tripathi, Ayush Tiwari, Ravendra Kushwaha, Deepak Ingle, Nirupa Joshi (Group Leader)

Music Bahadur Hussain Khan and Abani Das Gupta
Costumes Gul Bardhan
Lyrics Dashrathlal Singh
Masks Appuni Kartha

Choreographer Shanti Bardhan

 

Text and images by Supriya Aggarwal

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