| New Delhi |
October 23, 2020 7:10:40 pm
Well-liked dance drama Shri Ram entered its sixty fourth version this yr amid the pandemic. Choreographed by Padma Shri Shobha Deepak Singh, famend classical dancer and director of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (SBKK), the present — that has been happening uninterrupted since 1957 — had its inaugural efficiency on October 17, 2020, at SBKK lawns, and can proceed until October 24. Apart from, with digital exhibits turning into the brand new ‘regular’, the efficiency may even be streamed on YouTube from October 28 to November 14.
Organising an occasion as legendary as Shri Ram in these instances got here with its personal set of challenges and modifications, and Singh, a COVID-19 survivor herself, spoke to indianexpress.com about how issues have modified this yr.
How did you handle to organise such a prestigious stage efficiency within the instances of the pandemic?
We adhered to each health-related precaution, from social distancing to sanitising. Due to social distancing, because of which persons are sitting far other than one another, we couldn’t accommodate greater than 150-200 folks on the present. It’s a lengthy present however this time, now we have not been allowed to supply any edibles. However I’m completely satisfied that persons are nonetheless coming to observe it.
This time, even the inexperienced rooms are a lot larger to make sure social distancing is maintained. We really feel a way of social accountability and are ensuring we observe all the foundations and rules.
Earlier than the present opened, we had recorded the entire efficiency simply in case we weren’t allowed to carry out it dwell. The recorded model can now be watched on YouTube.
You carried out on-line rehearsals for the present. Had been there any challenges?
We began on-line rehearsals in July. Individuals tailored themselves to it in a short time. Apart from, bodily rehearsals had been performed with face masks and retaining all precautions in place. Earlier than the present, the complete crew additionally underwent the COVID-19 check twice, and all of them examined detrimental.
The dance drama can be accessible on YouTube. What makes a web based present completely different from a stage efficiency?
Whenever you see a efficiency on stage, you might be 5 to 10 ft away from the stage and would see the present from a distance. For the digital model, we may take close-ups, wide-angle photographs, and different methods to have interaction the viewers. However I can not say that the digital present substitutes for the precise one. This dance drama is a well-liked present — over 4 generations have witnessed it so it is sort of a legacy. I’d say there is no such thing as a substitute for the unique stage efficiency. It’s like evaluating Amitabh Bachchan in a movie and seeing him dwell.
Truly, I by no means needed to provide the present as a video. However had no selection this yr.
That is the sixty fourth version of the dance drama. How did you make sure that it remained related through the years?
Earlier, the entire efficiency was in Devnagari, which isn’t simply understood by most individuals as a result of the tv has additionally performed its half in presenting simplified variations of the Ramayan and Mahabharata. So, we made the present in Hindustani to make it extra accessible to our viewers. We additionally integrated 30-40 Powerpoint shows which not solely inform you what is precisely taking place within the story however the underlying subtext, too. Hanuman jumped the ocean to go to Lanka, as per the legend, however you can not actually do it in precise life. Relatively it symbolises one’s willpower — if you’re decided to do one thing, you get the ability to do it, it doesn’t matter what obstacles come your manner.
Coming to different technicalities, the revolving panel was one thing my husband integrated into the present. Earlier you possibly can both arrange the stage as a forest or a courtroom. With this new panel, we are able to have one aspect of it designed as Ravana’s courtroom of Ram Rajya and the opposite aspect as a forest. This has helped us change the scenes in a cut up second.
Apart from I’ve additionally improvised the costumes and jewelry through the years.
As a COVID-19 survivor, how did you handle to proceed working for the present?
The one individuals who examined optimistic had been my husband and me. Now that the present has began, issues have fallen in place, though initially, it was a problem. Even now, I really feel very, very weak and sleepy on a regular basis. Up till the primary present it was very, very tiresome. Now that the present is prepared and has been dwell since October 17, I normally go to the venue proper simply earlier than the present opens.
What’s the USP of this yr’s dance drama?
Your entire present is the USP. The unlucky factor is no matter I do that yr will probably be copied by quite a lot of different Ramlilas subsequent yr or in a few years, and by that point I’d have modified it in my manufacturing. However we shouldn’t have sufficient copyrights or essential legal guidelines for it. I consider you may be impressed by one thing however you can not copy it fully.
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