INDIA. New Delhi: Ramlila is celebrated all over India during this time of year, and in New Delhi, the famous Ramlila by Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra is always a spectacular one.
This is the 66th edition of the dance drama show “Shri Ram,” which magnificently showcases the life of Lord Rama, keeping a detailed eye on every aspect of the production and presentation.
The Ramlila started on September 26 and will continue till October 22. Inaugurated by Meenakashi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Government of India, this dance drama is the brainchild of Shobha Deepak Singh.
This two and half hour show has been designed with original soundtracks, excellent choreography by Shashidharan Nair, attractive costumes, jewellery designed by its director and producer, Shobha Deepak Singh, and a make-believe setup, from Lord Ram’s birth to Rajya Abhishek.
This time, especially after COVID-19, when there was no stage show, excitement and preparations are on a larger scale.
Addition of new elements
Every year not only are new scenes and graphics introduced, but innovation keeps going. “Innovation is a key word,” says Shobha Deepak Singh.
“This year the show has interesting additions. New animations, costume sets, and light design have been added to enhance the audience experience. Additionally for the last five decades or more; everything which is seen on state and behind – costumes, ornaments, masks, head dress, jewellery are all made in-house and nothing is bought out. And every time I try to add new elements to every aspect of the show,” she added.
The purpose of Ramlila is not merely to carry on a legacy that Shobha Ji’s mother created but to ease the refinement of a heritage that is unique to India and extensively rich in moral values that are significant even today. The idea is to familiarise the young generation with our rich heritage.
From Bharatanatyam and Kalariyapattu to Mayurbhanj Chau and folk dances of North India, with soulful music based on Hindustani classical ragas, “Shri Ram” has evolved over the past six decades. Every year there is something new to it without changing the very essence and reverence that the show commands.
Raj Kumar Sharma, who has played Ram for 25 years, describes the character as a part of his life.
“Playing the character may be difficult, but incorporating it in one’s life certainly is. Playing this role has made me more patient and empathic towards others,” he said.