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Country's oldest official Ramlila will stick to tradition

Last updated: 05 October, 2010
New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) 17:59 IST

The country's oldest official Ramlila, which added some contemporary realities last year, will not deviate from tradition this time.

Shobha Deepak Singh, the director of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra which organises the Ramlila, told reporters Tuesday: "We would adhere to the traditional spirit of the play but would improvise on the format of presentation."

However, she refused to divulge details. "In view of the universal spirit that permeates in the pre-Diwali season, we traditionally present the Ramlila - the greatest living tradition of our times, imparting timeless values," Singh said.

"Within less than two-and-a-half hours, the dance drama transports the spectator aesthetically into the country's most important epic. The show offers the best of India's culture and has thereby stood the test of time," she added.

The high point of the autumn performance calendar of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra narrates the story of Lord Rama and his exploits in Ayodhya and in the southern isle of Lanka against demon king Ravana in the backdrop of the socio-cultural milieu and myths of the Vedic age.

The dance drama brings to stage the myths surrounding the birth of Rama, his childhood, wedding, exile and war against evil.

Laser images of cosmic events that took place during Lord Rama's time beam on a giant screen framing the stage to convey the movement of time, sun and destiny.
The serial drama will begin Oct 14 and continue till Nov 3 at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra theatre, coinciding with the celebrations of Dussehra in northern India.
Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra was the first to present an aesthetically-refined 'Sampurna Ramayan'.

"It seems like yesterday when the production started in 1957 and I exchanged ideas with (late) Nirmala Joshi, the first secretary of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. Eminent Hindi poet Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' wrote the script and Tapas Sen, along with Inder Razdan, designed the set and the lights," Singh recalled.

The Ramlila is "education through entertainment" - where every episode is presented in a contemporary relevance, the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra director said.
"There is a sensitive synergy between the physical portrayal as for instance in the revolving panels projected on a giant screen behind and the metaphoric continuously revolving wheel of time," she said.

The Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra's Ramlila was one of the first dance dramas to be shot and relayed by Delhi Doordarshan.

It has been viewed by political luminaries like Jawaharlal Nehru, Zail Singh, Indira Gandhi, S. Radhakrishnan, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Rajiv Gandhi, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Zakir Hussain and N. Sanjiva Reddy.

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