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Dance Musical glorifies the might of Lord Ram

‘Avadhara Purushan’ in Auckland on May 22

Venkat Raman – 
venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

Indian Television and stage is experiencing a renaissance of epics and history evincing the interest of the younger generation, which as elders say, is in itself a good thing.

Recent and ongoing screening of Mahabharat, Siya Ke Ram, Hanuman and others has encouraged movie producers to offer such blockbusters as ‘Bahubali,’ which have created an all-time record at the box-office.

Such revival is somewhat new to theatre although producers like Murali R Muralidharan have been at it for more than two decades. They have beheld the interest of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world with their mammoth shows.

The forthcoming Dance Musical ‘Avadhara Purushan’ will arguably become a talk of the town, for its size could be an awe-inspiring event.

Mr Muralidharan has chosen ‘Sai Natyalaya’ run by dance teacher Renuka Katheesan as the banner for the programme on Sunday, May 22, 2016 (at 430 pm) at Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Girls Grammar School.

Perfect Man

‘Avadhara Purushan’ – some Tamil expressions defy meaningful translation – glorifies Lord Ram, the Hero of ‘Ramayan’ (or ‘Ramayanam’) as the embodiment of Righteousness, Marital Fidelity, Royal Benevolence, Courageous Leadership and Moral Rectitude. He exemplifies man as a duty-bound son, brother, husband, friend and ‘liberator of the evil from its vicious bond.’

While most of India follows the version of Ramayan as recited by the great sage Valmiki, the harbinger poet (attributed to 5th Century BCE), Tamilians follow the version created by Kambar, a 12th Century Tamil poet. There is not much variation from the original creation but ‘Kamba Ramayanam’ is replete with the beauty of Tamil language with all its rich literature.

Mr Muralidharan deserves credit for reliving the great epic with his own brand of creativity that includes delectable lyrics, immortalised by patented music (which reportedly cost more than Rs 600,000 (about $14,000) and exquisite digital backdrops that bring a certain authenticity to the grandeur of Ram.

“Kamba Ramayanam is not a literal translation of the Valmiki original. He condensed the Sanskrit version, added his own contributions; and yet, it contained only half of 24,000 verses of Valmiki Ramayan,” he said.

Intense work

Dance Musical glorifies- Advertisement WebMr Muralidharan has invested time (more than 18 months) and money in his latest production and the expectation is that ‘Avadhara Purushan’ will not only be a fitting tribute to Lord Ram but also follow in the successful lineage of his earlier productions which include ‘Silappatikaram,’ ‘Sivagamiyin Sabatham,’ ‘Kanda Puranam,’ ‘Thiru Krishna Leela’ and ‘Thirumangai Alwar.’

More than 65 artistes have participated in this venture. Among them are Embar Kannan a popular Violinist who will perform for the New Zealand Carnatic Music Society on June 6, 2016 (read separate story under Communitylink in this issue), Veena artiste Rajesh Vaidhya, Singer Kalpana Raghavendar and many other performers on ‘Super Singer’ competition on Star Vijay TV.

Versatile Artiste

Dance Musical glorifies- Lord Hanuman WebMr Muralidharan is a dancer, singer, choreographer, Nattuvanar, composer, producer and director. He commenced his career in dancing when he was just seven years old along with his sister R Manimekalai.

Proficiency in the art encouraged him to establish ‘Nrithyakshethra,’ in 1978 with 25 students. Over the years, the dance school has trained more than 500 students, about 100 of whom presented their Arangetram.

Mr Muralidharan, his wife Chitra and their daughter Kavyalakshmi have been regular visitors to New Zealand (our first report on them appeared in Indian Newslink, October 15, 2005 issue).

They have performed in India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka and United States of America.

Tickets for ‘Avadhara Purushan,’ priced at $25 and $20 are now on sale.

For more information, please contact Ilango Krishnamoorthy on 021-7399879 or Renuka Ketheesan on 021-1374929.

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