Presented by the dynamic danseuse, Sonal Mansingh
BY RUKMA SALUJA
We are all familiar with the grand epics, Ramayana and Mahabharta. We have seen them in countless avatars on TV, on stage, in films, read about them and been captive audiences through every narration. With each telling there is a new takeaway. And when there isn’t, the familiar story is itself the showpiece that becomes a delight to watch when the artists display their talent.
Ramotsav presented by danseuse Sonal Mansingh at Kamani Auditorium, Mandi House, Delhi (April 29-30, 2022) was one such event. Ramotsav is a two-day KalaYatra cultural festival presented by Shri Kamakhya Kalapeeth―The Centre for Indian Classical Dances (CICD), established in 1977 by Sonal Mansingh, Padma Vibhushan awardee and Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha).
Katha Siya-Ram Ki was the inaugural presentation of the festival. Dashrath King of Ayodhya was childless even though he had three wives, his longing for children, the prayer and penance that brought them into the world, their education under the tutelage of the Sage Vishwamitra, their prowess as warriors, Sita and her glimpse of the handsome man, her desire to meet him again, the lifting and stringing of the mighty bow to win her as his wife. WE know it well and yet it holds attention.
Choreographed by inimitable cultural diva, the Katha brings together the spiritual essence of the theme by her singing, dance and music interspersed with her distinctive abhinaya marked with spontaneous contextual narration of the timeless relevance of the episode from the epic Ramayana. A mix of storytelling to the accompaniment of music, singing, theatrics and dance was a riveting experience.