Two respected artists will celebrate in words, images, and in movement the timeless story of the Ramayana, as they attempt to create new artistic interpretations to one of the greatest epics of all time

The story of the Ramayana has been an inspiration for the arts since time immemorial. Today, it will once again reinterpret itself as the subject of a unique collaborative effort.

Malavika Sarukkai

In a performance titled More Than An Epic: The Ramayana in Art and in Our Lives, eminent art historian Dr BN Goswamy draws upon his knowledge of miniature paintings to help people understand the epic better, while Bharatanatyam dancer Malavika Sarukkai will showcase the beauty of the Ramayana in her movements.

Revisit the epic
With the help of Pahari, Rajasthani, Mughal and other miniature paintings of different eras, Dr Goswami will help the audience understand the true meaning of the paintings and the stories associated with them. He will make people see what was truly meant to be seen in the artworks.

"Dr Goswamy will interpret the paintings for us with the help of slides, that will be projected on a screen. Many a time, he also uses poetry and tries to marry it with art," says Dr Suvarnalata Rao, head programming, Indian music, NCPA.

"The Ramayana is a story that has great resonance in India," believes legendary dancer Malavika Sarukkai, who will be performing a piece based on the Maricha Vadan from the Tulsidas Ramayana and another on Lord Rama walking into Mithila before the Swayamvara from the Kambha Ramayana.

"The great young Rama looks so beautiful and elegant as he enters Mithila. I am trying to portray that beauty in my performance," she adds. According to her, it is not a performance, but a journey. "I am not rendering the dance for my audience, I am creating it.

I am bringing it to life on stage. I am getting my audience to experience the feel," says Sarukkai, who has collaborated with Dr Goswami on many occasions in the past. "In India, arts are interrelated and this is the creative coming together of arts," she adds.

Dr Rao believes that each artist has his own interpretation of a particular work. "Different artists give us different interesting versions and new expressions," she says adding, "Ramayana is one of the truest reflections of our life and it is the stories of our life that we will see on stage."

ON Today, 6.30 pm
At Experimental Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
Call 22824567 / 66223724
Tickets Rs 300, Rs 200