Performing the Ramayana Tradition: Enactments, Interpretations, and Arguments

ISBN : 9780197552506

Paula Richman; Rustom Bharucha
392 ページ
156 x 235 mm

The Ramayana, one of the two pre-eminent Hindu epics, has played a foundational role in many aspects of India's arts and social norms. For centuries, people learned this narrative by watching, listening, and participating in enactments of it. Although the Ramayana's first extant telling in Sanskrit dates back to ancient times, the story has continued to be retold and rethought through the centuries in many of India's regional languages, such as Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali. The narrative has provided the basis for enactments of its episodes in recitation, musical renditions, dance, and avant-garde performances. This volume introduces non-specialists to the Ramayana's major themes and complexities, as well as to the highly nuanced terms in Indian languages used to represent theater and performance. Two introductions orient readers to the history of Ramayana texts by Tulsidas, Valmiki, Kamban, Sankaradeva, and others, as well as to the dramaturgy and aesthetics of their enactments. The contributed essays provide context-specific analyses of diverse Ramayana performance traditions and the narratives from which they draw. The essays are clustered around the shared themes of the politics of caste and gender; the representation of the anti-hero; contemporary re-interpretations of traditional narratives; and the presence of Ramayana discourse in daily life.


Preface and Acknowledgements: The Journey of the Book
List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration
I. Orientations and Beginnings
1. The Ramayana Narrative Tradition as a Resource for Performance
Paula Richman
2. Thinking the Ramayana Tradition through Performance
Rustom Bharucha
3. Where Narrative and Performance Meet: Nepathya's Ramayana Samksepam
Rizio Yohannan
II The Politics of Caste
4. Shambuk's Severed Head by Omprakash Valmiki
Translation by Aaron Sherraden
5. Recasting Shambuk in Three Hindi Anti-Caste Dramas
Aaron Sherraden
6. The Killing of Shambuk: A Retelling from a Director's Perspective
Sudhanva Deshpande
III Interrogating the Anti-Hero
7. Ravana Center Stage: Origins of Ravana and King of Lanka
Paula Richman
8. Ravana as Dissident Artist: The Tenth Head and Ravanama
Rustom Bharucha
8a. Script of The Tenth Head
Vinay Kumar
8b. Script of Ravanama
Maya Krishna Rao
IV Performing Gender
9. The Making of RamaRavana: Reflections on Gender, Music, and Staging
Hanne M. de Bruin
10. Writing Her Self: The Politics of Gender in Nangyarkuttu
Mundoli Narayanan
V Conversations and Arguments
11. Reflections on Ramayana in Kutiyattam
David Shulman, Margi Madhu Chakyar, Dr. Indu G. with Rustom Bharucha
12. Questions around Ram Vijay: Sattriya in a Monastic Tradition
Sri Narayan Chandra Goswami with Parasmoni Dutta, Paula Richman,
and Rustom Bharucha
13. Performing the Argument: Ramayana in Talamaddale
Akshara K.V.
VI Beyond Enactment
14. Revisiting Being Rama: Playing a God in Changing Times
Urmimala Sarkar Munsi
15. The Night Before Bhor Arti: Play and Banarasipan in the Ramnagar Ramlila
Bhargav Rani
16. The Challenges Ahead: Researching the Ramayana Performance Tradition
Rustom Bharucha
List of Contributors
Index $ https://global.oup.com/academic/product/9780197552506 $ HRG
AVGD $ Hinduism
Folk dancing
Sacred & religious music


Paula Richman is William H. Danforth Professor of South Asian Religions, Emerita, at Oberlin College, in Ohio. She has edited three volumes and published more than thirty articles on the diversity of the Indian Ramayana tradition. Rustom Bharucha retired as Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Author of several books on performance, he has also worked as a dramaturg worldwide and was involved in the curation of three Ramayana Festivals at the Adishakti Theatre Laboratory in Puducherry, India.