The evergreen tale of ‘Shri Ram’

It is the time of the year when New Delhi’s cultural staple – Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra’s ‘Shri Ram’ comes around to enhance the flavor of festivities

The evergreen tale of Lord Ram

‘Shri Ram’ — an iconic production ever produced in India’s cultural history — chronicles events from Lord Ram’s birth to Rajya Abhishek in a 2.30 hours capsule. Embellished with original soundtracks, choreography, elaborate costumes and make-belief set up, this magnum opus has enjoyed the patronage of almost all the Indian Presidents and Prime Ministers. 

Created and designed in the distinctive dance-drama style, Kendra’s production has become a landmark event in Delhi on the occasion of Dussehra. It has travelled around the nation and to several overseas countries to present its grandeur and artistic finesse intertwined with an evergreen story. The show has surpassed viewership of accomplished international shows with over 7 lakh spectators since its inception in 1957.

Established and conceptualized by Padamshri Shobha Deepak Singh, the intent of ‘Shri Ram’ is not merely to carry on a legacy that Shobha’s mother created but is to ease the percolation of a heritage that is unique to India and extensively rich in moral values that are pertinent even today. The idea is to strengthen the core of the nation that is primarily composed of the young generation.

Over the years, Shobha Deepak Singh (Director and Vice Chairperson of Shriram Bharaitya Kala Kendra) has devoted herself to this majestic production and improvised upon itself only to reach for the skies.  Ecstatic about this year’s presentation, she affirms, “Shri Ram is special to each one of us at The Kendra and our sole intention is to do justice to our beloved by reaching out to more audience than last year. It won’t be a mistake to say that Shri Ram as an absolute in-house production which encompasses our lives in its totality making our institution the only one where we cater for our requirements. For years ,we have involved our students in the pre-production works of our shows, whom we consider as our best asset. This time around, we will have them actively participate in the show. It is commendable that our costumes and jewellery are also taken care of internally by our in-house costumes and ornaments in-charge  Laxmi Kohli and Shri Sohan Lal.”

The setting and age from Satyug to Kalyug have changed considerably, but the challenges and struggles still exist; their circumstances and essence, however different, remain the same. Thus, in order to resonate with the minds of one and all, ‘Shri Ram’ employs simple dialects, language and scenarios. Through the caricature of various characters, the show emphasizes on human values, brotherhood, unconditional love and respect for elders which are evergreen emotions.

Donned with dance styles ranging from Bharatanatyam and Kalaripayattu to Mayurbhanj Chau and folk dances of North India, with rhythmic music based on Hindustani classical ragas, ‘Shri Ram’ has evolved over the past six decades and with every year there is something new to it without changing the very essence and the reverence that the show commands.

When: 26 September – 22 October at 6:30 pm everyday 

Where: Kendra Lawns, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi

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Shehwaaz covers community, sexuality, gender, and other social issues for Patriot.