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Images & Review: Sri Ram Katha

Sri Ram Katha - Good Dancing Over Evil

Article and photos: Karim Sahai

Good and Evil. Two immensely powerful forces. The words "darkness", "light" and "struggle" easily come to mind. But when the victory of Good over Evil takes the form of a grandiose on-stage epic, with a myriad of artists skilled in the art of movement, the harmony of light, chant and colours, then it is easy to trust that Good will always be triumphant.

Sri Ram Katha is the latest production by renowned dancer-choreographer Vivek Kinra and his Wellington-based Mudra Dance Company. The story and characters are inspired by the ancient Ramayana hindu texts. Sri Ram Katha is told in the elaborate Bharatanatyam style of indian dance; of which Kinra is a master. This art form is a clear fit for the six-act story of Lord Rama; the abduction of his wife Sita by demonic creatures; the loyalty of Hanuman the monkey-god and the ensuing wars. The legend's message is that of loyalty, devotion, respect and family.

The excellence in Sri Ram Katha comes from the highly detailed and captivating visual tableau created for the audience. It is indian dance in its most sublime rendition. Yet it felt "universal". The visual, technical and artistic direction given to each act, the agility and grace of each dancer and the divine harmony emanating from the soul-grabing vocals and sounds were all balanced ingredients of a medicine to help Good win over Evil.

"Each year Vivek's performances evolve to a higher level of professionalism. Sri Ram Katha presented an even more dramatic line up, with high-energy classical dance. The audience and I were delighted!" says Kara Vandeleur on opening night.

With the presence of four professional international dancers*, a complete south indian music accompaniment orchestra and a cast of thirty two artists from the Mudra Dance Company, this year's Bharatanatyam production was the largest and most elaborate ever offered to a New Zealand public. And one can feel better knowing that Good won over Evil once again, right here in Wellington.

--------Sri Ram Katha was played at the Wellington Opera House, on August 19 & 20, 2006.

* The four international dancers taking part in "Sri Ram Katha" are:
Gayatri Balagurunathan (India), T K Thiruchelwam (Sri Lanka), K B Madhusudhanan (India) and Aadith Narayan (India).

Mudra Dance Company:
Bhrarata Natyam:

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