Presented by Saraswati Mahavidhyalaya
“I am Ravana” engages the audience to consider the shades of good and evil. It is framed by the last moments of Ravana's life when Ravana asks humanity, "why do you rejoice in my death?". The quest for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment is timeless and universal. Ravana's hubris is ours today - personally, politically and globally. The production is shaped by the insights of several cultural performance styles, from dance, music and text and using Valmiki's text as the basis for interpretation.
The Ramayana is a popular and timeless Indian epic. The term Ramayana literally means "the march (ayana) of Rama" to find Sita, his beloved wife, who has been captured by the Asura Ravana. For thousands of years, it has been performed, narrated and chanted in regional languages across South East Asia, and now across the Indian diaspora globally. The Ramayana has manifested itself in text, temple architecture and performance from the Himalayas to the Angkor Wat to the shores of Bali.
Rama - continues to be viewed as - in the words of Swami Vivekananda, "the embodiment of truth, of morality, the ideal son, the ideal husband, and above all, the ideal king."
In simplistic terms, Ravana is generally viewed merely as the evil demon king, who deliberately planned and kidnapped Sita. This masks the reality of his persona - a devotee of Lord Shiva who has mastered ancient texts. Brahma conferred on Ravana the boon of near invulnerability, making him immune from destruction by gods or (other) demons for his penance. Ravana was a great warrior, a capable ruler, and a scholar with extraordinary knowledge of science.
His downfall at the hands of Rama can be attributed to one act of folly - desire for Sita. Or can it be attributed to his hubris in only asking Brahma that no deva could hurt him, because he did not consider a more mortal his equal.
Warnings: Smoke, strobe lighting
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