The Ramayana - a dance opera

The story of Diwali

In 2023, ShivaNova will will be developing “The Ramayana” dance opera touring show which incorporates theatre, dance, opera and music and narration in the round with the retelling of an ancient myth – The Ramayana is the basis of why we celebrate Diwali – the Festival of Lights in Oct/November every year.

Influenced by Peter Brook’s Mahabharata the performers work in a fluid way with voice, movement and music, and the dramatic interpretation of the story by the dancers allows for improvisation with the music under-laying the whole piece. The show had a pilot performance in Kent to critical acclaim in Autumn 2022 (see video footage here). This story has a special resonance with the Asian community and the festival of Diwali is their equivalent of Christmas.

The story of good over evil – Rama and Sita and the slaying of the 10-headed demon Ravana with the help of the monkey-god Hanuman has a special resonance today, and their life in the forest living naturally amongst the animals reflects on environmental issues and the need to protect and respect nature. This street-theatre piece can be performed in different settings including the outdoors – in forests, parks, as well as in festivals, high streets, urban and indoor spaces.

The show will be 75-80 minutes in duration and will amalgamate Indian street theatre and its simplicity with dancers, musicians, singers and lead choreographers Kali Chandrasegaram and Richa Srivastava alongside Sandhya Sridhar performing with musicians Ghatam Prakash, RN Prathap, western musicians, cross-cultural opera with singers including Anoohya Vishu, The show will be designed with backdrops including projections and lighting design.