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Theatre Dance

Reimagining the Ramayana

Aravinth Kumarasamy on Anjaneyam's journey to the stage

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Published: 16 Jun 2020


We were thinking how to tell our Ramayana, so we thought we would take a different perspective of it… it’s from the life of Hanuman and most Ramayana literary works do not talk about Hanuman’s earlier life when he was young.

Aravinth Kumarasamy, a distinguished figure in the international Indian arts community, is a multi-talented artist whose practice spans Indian dance, music, theatre and other related disciplines. As the artistic director of Apsaras Arts, he is the brains behind Anjaneyam  Hanuman’s Ramayana, a co-production with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. The production was first presented at Kalaa Utsavam  Indian Festival of Arts 2017, and streamed online via SISTIC Live in May 2020.

In this online conversation with Esplanade's producer Rajeswari Ramachandran, Aravinth shares the inspiration behind Anjaneyam and how following the life journey of Hanuman, the Monkey God who shared adventures with Rama and Sita, gives it a distinct perspective that makes this particular narrative unique among all the other versions of the Ramayana ever told.

Aravinth sheds light on the music, costumes and set design of this dance drama by sharing photos which illuminate behind-the-scenes artistic methods and processes. The duo also discuss the feelings of seeing Anjaneyam being screened online, creative explorations of bringing the arts into the virtual space, and the importance of embracing new combinations of physical and digital technologies that have been catalysed by the safety measures to cope with COVID-19.

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