Enthralling performance of Manipuri ''Ram Lila'' in Delhi

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New Delhi, Mar 15 (UNI) In a rare spectacle, a Manipuri troupe performed the " Sumang Lila", Ram Lila in Manipuri, at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGCNA) here last night.

Organised by the IGCNA, with an objective to document diverse performative traditions of '' Ram Katha'' belonging to different folk and tribal origins in the country in audio-visual format, the cultural programme '' Ram Katha in Oral Narratives and Folk Performative Traditions of India'' took a different hue yesterday with the enactment of Sumang Lila.

Sumang Lila is known as a traditional and popular folk theater of Manipur. The programme will be held at IGCNA Complex from March 12 to 20.

Enacted by the popular Ram Lila group of Hanjabam Nandakishore Sharma, the overall performance was very enthralling. Moreover its melodramatic narrative style, traditional music and colourful costume, won many hearts. Performers presented the popular tradition of ''Joy Drama'' in their portrayal of '' Ram Katha'' charactetrs.

The play depicted the story of Sita, how she was made to live in forest after her return from the Lanka and how she got united with Rama, through Luv and Kush's accidental catching of Yajna horse.

The episode of Sita's return to Ayodhya from Lanka and painting of the portrait of Ravana on Lakshman's wife Urmila assertion was prominent in the play as it shows the role of destiny and chance in it.

After drawing the picture, an angel called ''Nidra'' ( God of sleep) made Sita fell asleep . Rama happened to see the portrait of Ravana, which made him restless. Enraged Rama then asked Lakshman to leave Sita in the forest.

While staying at Kadaliban with Sage Valmiki, Sita gave birth to twins Lav and Kush, who caught Rama's horse of Ashwamedha Yagya. A battle was fought between Lav and Kush and Rama. Rama and Lakshman died in the battle.

Seeing Sita sorrow and plight, Sage Valmiki sprinkled sacred water upon Ram and Lakshman and revived them with life.

Ram recognized his sons and wife and brought them back to Ayodhya and lived happily. Hence the play revived the old epic with Manipuri traditions.

Meanwhile, claiming the documentation work which would be one of richest archives on folk and tribal Ram Katha Traditions in the country, once completed, the IGCNA spokeperson said the work was begun in November 27, last year and will continue in the year 2008 as well.

Apart from holding Seminar and Exhibition on Ramayana Traditions in the Country, the IGCNA will also organise a four-day long 'Performances of Folk Performative Traditions on Ramayana' commencing from March 12.


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