"... The Kattaikkuttu Young Professionals troupe set the stage on fire with the evening performance, when they performed an abridged version of their repertory regular Pakatai Tukil.... What however added to the overall exuberance and energy was the last extended, exclusively Tamizh addition to Draupadi's Vastraharan - the last dice game! I was as elated and impressed by this local twist, and believe me; I really wish this was added to all versions of the Mahabharata."
Well-known Indian theatre critic Rustom Barucha invited Rajagopal and Hanne to make a critical Ramayana production. RamaRavana premiered on the 23rd of February 2011 at the Adhishakti Ramayana Festival in Pondicherry.
RamaRavana is a re-imagination of a few selected scenes in which the focus is more on bringing out symbolic symmetries/connections through the rasas invoked and revisiting the interpretation of a few selected characters and their relationship to others. The play investigates how circumstances and social conventions of "honour" and "virility", as well as a desire for power and position, motivate both Rama and Ravana to engage in atrocious deeds, including maiming, kidnapping and prolonged war. Women are the pivots and victims of these actions and the pawns through which opposition and violence are being instigated and perpetuated.
The play uses theatrical elements, songs and music derived from three different genres: Kattaikkuttu, the Drama (Natakam) tradition and the rural Devadasi repertoire. In contrast to traditional Kattaikkuttu plays, it has a minimal dialogue and the story progresses mostly through song-texts, music and visualizations. The cast of young players has experimented with elements borrowed from workshops that have taken place at the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam. The chorus is often on-stage (rather than back stage) and provides additional characters as well as visual and verbal commentary on the actions and words of the leading characters. Click here for an overview of the plays of the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam.
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