Bangalore International Centre had arranged a talk on“Rama and Sita in South Indian Theatrical Traditions” by Prof. Paula Richman on Wednesday, 21stDecember, 2016 at 6.30 PM. Ms. SamhitaArni chaired and moderated the session.
In a thought-provoking presentation of her research studies on Rama and Sita in theatrical traditions, Prof. Paula Richman outlined certain significant aspects of the theatrical traditions in Majuli Island (Assam) and parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. It was her finding that of the two epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata, it was Mahabharata rather than Ramayana which has dominated the theatrical traditions. Such traditions have been mostly episodic, quite understandably because the entire epic could never be compressed into any performance of limited duration. Presentationally these theatres have usually followed a fixed format, event though Yakshagana actors even now introduce some fluid and relevant aspects in their presentations in Kerala and Karnataka. By and large the demand from local clients / patrons play a major role in deciding the contents and presentational formats in a particular area.
The fascinating presentation was appreciated by a fairly large audience. SamhitaArni chaired and moderated the discussion with skill and wit.