On the occasion of International Dance Day, Shovana Narayan’s Asavri in collaboration with Sangeet Natak Akademi presented a two-day festival Ram- Mat at Meghdoot Theatre in the Capital.
Ram-Mat seeks to explore range of perceptions on two issues. The first one is - Ram and Ramatva that have now come to denote various qualities, some far removed from the virtuous embodiment which Rama had come to denote in earlier times. The second issue was The Veil, part of all cultures, where the concept of veiling is inseparable from its multiple related and unrelated expressions reconstructing symbols with great force.
Ram Mat unfolded on April 27 with a seminar in the presence of renowned panelists Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami (Director,Sri Caitanya Prema Samsthan), Ashok Vajpayi (poet, essayist, critic), Mehru Jafer (author) and chaired by Leela Venkataraman.
The topic of discussion remained Ram and Ramatva - the conception and perception behind the word Ramatva and its significance in the present times. The panel discussion was followed by performances of Shovana Narayan (Padmashri and SNA awardee) and Asavari repertory on Kab Aogey Rama which featured new perception on three aspects from the Ramayana, first premiered in 1984.
The second day of the festival was designed for renowned panelists who discussed on the captivating topic “Ghunghat” (The Veil). The panelists included Manjari Sinha (Chair), Pavan K Varma,( MP, author, retd IFS), Rakshanda Jalil (literary historian, writer-critic) and Arshiya Sethi (scholar-artiste, cultural visionary), Syeda Hameed (writer, activist and former Member, PC) and Ravindra Misra (art critic).
The programme was followed by powerful yet mesmerising performance by Padmashri Guru hovana Narayan on short emotional and evocative delineation of Ismat Chugtai’s The Veil. Ismat Chugtai, whose literary outpourings were evocations of lives behind the curtain and for tearing that curtain away, said: “My creativity, my captivity, is my own desire, my own longing, and I have control over it.”