I AM RAVANA, an epic Indian story of love, lust, kidnapping and death, will be performed by Perth’s premier Indian arts and culture organisation at the Heath Ledger Theatre starting this Friday.
It is the latest production of Saraswati Mahavidhyalaya (SMV) and will be a “visual feast of dance, acting and song with live and pre-recorded music, along with exotic Indian sets and costumes”.
SMV Artistic Director Sarasa Krishnan said the story “has been told and retold for the past 2000 years, a version of which can be found in almost every South Asian country”.
“Usually the focus is on Rama, an Indian superhero who is the perfect son, brother, warrior, husband and King. However, in this contemporary production, we want to focus on the ‘bad guy’, the demon king Ravana and his struggle in accepting his fate,” she said.
The legend tells the story of the eldest son of King Dasharatha, Rama, and Dasharatha’s three queens.
Rama and his wife Sita were exiled for 14 years in the forest as a result of his father’s promise to his queen Kaikeyi. The story unfolds when the demon King of Lanka, Ravana, kidnaps Sita.
Krishnan said Ravana is usually portrayed “as a one dimensional evil demon”.
“However, Ravana was a great warrior, an excellent ruler and a scholar with extraordinary knowledge of the arts and sciences. Shedding the light on Ravana’s cultured background as well as his immense devotion to Lord Shiva, we ask the audience to consider the multifaceted shades behind every story, event and person,” she said.
SMV is a centre for performing arts and education and the artistic drive behind the well-known annual Deepavali festival the Swan Festival of Lights.
It is the centre’s first major theatre production in 10 years, having produced Vishwa Vinayaka at Burswood in 2006, and Midsummer Night’s Dream at His Majesty’s in 1994.
This return to a premiere theatre venue, and will feature approximately 100 local and international cast and crew.
I am Ravana will be performed on the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th July 2017 at the Heath Ledger Theatre at the State Theatre Centre of WA.
Tickets are available at Ticketek.