Sridevi Nrithyalaya’s first ever dance drama, “Bala Ramayanam” is a production that delineates the story of Sri Rama from His birth up to Sita Kalyanam. Episodes of Putrakaameshti Yaagam; birth and growth of Rama, Bharatha, Lakshmana, Shatrugna; slaying of Thataki; Rama, Lakshmana and Sage Kaushikar visiting Siddhashramam; relieving Ahalya from the terrible curse; Rama breaking Siva’s bow and tying the knot with Sita Devi are showcased in detail. Lyrics have been penned by Sri Kaadhalmathi in Tamil, and music composed by Sri Balabharthy.
SRI KRISHNA KARNAAMRUTHAM
Taking episodes from Sri Krishna Avatharam, this dance drama projects stories of Krishna’s birth, His childhood pranks, Slaying of Kalinga, lifting of the Govardhana mountain, Raas Leela and finally concludes with the marriage of Rukmini and Krishna.
Taking songs from Sri Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s composition ‘Nandanar Charitram’ and sewing them into a story line, this short dance drama brings to light the story of Nandanar, who was born in the community of untouchables and was a great Siva Bhakta. He was in ecstatic devotion for the Lord that his friends mocked him to be a lunatic.
Nandanar yearned to have the Lord’s darshan in Chidambaram but he was derided by the Land lord and asked to cultivate the farms and grow the crops.
What better proof can there be of Nandanar’s pure Bhakti, for the fields were harvested overnight and he was welcomed by the priests in Chidambaram to have the Darshan of the Lord. Soaked in Bhakti, with eyes brimming with tears, Nandanar gets immersed in the embrace of the Lord.
This is a short dance drama for about a duration of 20 minutes conveying the entire story of Ramayana from the voices of Rama’s sons- Lava and Kusha. Adapting the song from the classic Tamil movie “Lava Kusha” in the Bharathanatyam style, this presentation encapsulates the entire story of Ramayanam in a nut shell.
This is a presentation delineating the life story of a saint of Tiruvannamalai, Sri Yogi Ramsurathkumar. Episodes from his birth upto Samaadhi are covered in this dance drama, highlighting the various miracles that have taken place through him.
This is a colorful dance drama depicting the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. The dance drama opens up with the grand scene of Kailasam where Rishis, Apsaras, and all the celestial beings along with Shiva and Dakshayani dance in ecstasy. Featuring episodes of King Daksha’s yagnya, Dakshayani jumping into the sacrificial fire and later being born as Parvathi, daughter of King Himavan are depicted in this dance drama. Parvathi’s love for Lord Siva grows with her age and the episodes leading to the divine marriage of Siva and Parvathi are projected in this production. Lyrics have been penned in Tamil by Sri Kaadhalmathi and music composed by Sri Balabharthy.
Weaving together stories surrounding the Six Abodes of the Warrior God, Subrahmanya, ‘SHADAKSHARAM’ dance drama is a classic representation of Muruga’s birth, and His Thiruvilayaadal including episodes of Pazhani, Swamimalai, Thiruchendur, Thiruparamkundram, Thiruthani and Pazhamudhircholai. Describing each episode in all grandeur, this production has been penned and music composed by Madurai Sri R Muralidharan in Tamil.
JANANI JAGATH KARANI
This dance drama is based on Devi Mahathmyam, a treatise that extols the various incarnations of Mother Goddess. Portraying her forms of Nidra devi, Mohini, Mahishasura Mardhini, Chandigai, Maha Kali, Lalithambika and Maha Shodashi, this production hails her victory over the Asuras, who are but, the demons that pervade the minds of humans. Surrendering to the Supreme Universal Mother, “Janani Jagath Karani” celebrates Divinity in all its manifestations. Lyrics for this production have been penned by Smt. Rukmini Ramani and Music scored by Dr. Kuldeep M Pai.
Ravana, the King of Lanka, was an ardent Siva Bhakta whose had an unparalleled mastery over playing the Veena. Owing to his greed and far fetched desires, He succumbs to some curses which eventually make him seem a Villian in the eyes of mythological stories. Presenting Ravana as the Hero, with stories that lead to his ultimate downfall, “Ravaneshwaran” dance drama presents the story of Ravana from an untold perspective. Kumbakonam Sri Gajendran has penned the lyrics and composed music for this production.
SRI KRISHNA VAIBHAVAM
The Man of Myriad Manifestations, Sri Krishna, is the manifestation of the four Vedas; the essence of Vedanta and the ordainer of the Upanishads. He is Parandhama who removes our ignorance and bestows us with wisdom and Brahmananda.
He is the naughty child who plays endless tricks with Gopis. He is the Ultimate Teacher (Sathguru) who bestows True Gnyana on Gopis who surrender completely to Him. He is the Ultimate Lover who is lost in love and pines for Radha. He is the Ultimate Servant who serves his childhood friend Kuchela, even before hearing his plea. He is the Ultimate protector who moves coins in the game of Mahabharatha, manipulates nature by altering the Ammavasai day in order to protect the Pandavas. He is the Ultimate Friend, who saves Arjuna’s life from Karna’s unconquerable Nagastra.
Sri Krishna Vaibhavam celebrates Krishna in all these manifold manifestations. Lyrics have been penned in Tamil by Sri Padmadevan and Music has been composed by Dr. Kuldeep M Pai.
The dance drama commences with Sekhizhaar’s composition from Periya Puranam in praise of Lord Shiva, the Omnipotent. Signifying the Big Bang theory, Lord Shiva appears from light and manifests himself with six faces, the first five to create, protect, destroy, hide and grace and the sixth one to dissolve the universe and absorb all into Him. He is praised as the embodiment of PARAM (Omnipotent) Thathvam. Following this, Parvathi and Siva appear as bride and groom in Mount Kailasa where the divine wedding preparations go on. Owing to the crowd gathered in the North, the land slides downward, causing the land in the South to tilt up. As this creates panic, Siva commands Sage Agasthiya to go South to bring balance on earth.
In order to fulfill the task, Sage Agasthiya sets off to travel from the North and faces various adventures and explores the five elements starting from Earth. Each episode in the drama manifests the five elements with different stories.
Earth is characterized as a woman who emerges from Siva and marries Vishnu. The thathva of Sankaranarayana is therefore established. Various manifestations of water is exhibited through stories of Ganga’s descent and the birth of Kaveri. The element of fire is established with the episode of Tripurasura Samharam, where the lord emulates the asuras to ashes with his mere smile. A vibrant musical and dance sequence follows, with the story of Thiruchengodu throwing light to the next, formless element, air.
Siva as Akasha appears omnipotent yet formless. He takes the form of Natraja and blesses Agasthiya with his divine darshan. The ballet concludes with a grand finale explaining the importance of five elements and the relationship they hold to reach the Ultimate. Lyrics have been penned by Prof. S. Raghuraman and Music has been composed by Dr. Ghatam Karthick.
Sridevi Nrithyalaya’s ‘BRAHMASMI’ explores the state of Brahman through the mediums of dance and drama.
Following the statements from our Vedas and Upanishads, including the Bruhadhaaranyaka Upanishad and Mundakopanishad, Sridevi
Nrithyalaya’s production, BRAHMASMI delves into a journey that touches upon Bhagavad Gita, Brahma Soothra, Sankaraacharya’s Aathma Bhodham and many more.
The non-dual aspect of our soul and the Brahman is as ancient as our Sanaathana Dharma with Sri Dakshinaamoorthy as the Aadhi Guru, preaching the Supreme Truth. Sridevi Nrithyalaya’s BRAHMASMI is presented as an easy guide to learn and understand about Aatman and Brahman and the relationship between both. Aadhi Sankara’s Shanmatham and Yoga Vasishtam are also incorporated in the production to emphasise the subject.
The lyrics for this production have been penned by Sri Padmadevan , making this highly philosophical subject easy to understand and internalise. Music has been composed by the violin maestro Embar Sri Kannan.
A vibrant and colourful dance drama that encapsulates the story of the divine marriage of the Lord of Venkata Hills, Srinivasa and the beautiful princess, Padmavathi.
As the Rishis perform the sacred Yagnya for the welfare of the three worlds, Narada intrudes and begins his doings. He encourages Sage Brighu to identify the best among the Trinity- Brahma, Siva and Vishnu and offer the fruits of the sacrificial fire to Him. As Brighu sets out with pride, he is humiliated at Sathya Loka, where Brahma and Saraswathi do not pay attention to his visit. Enraged by the negligence, Brighu curses Brahma and proceeds to Kailasam. Siva and Shakti, who are engrossed in their Ananda Tandavam, do not notice Brighu’s entry. Further angered, Brighu curses Siva and proceeds to Vaikuntam where Maha Vishnu and Lakshmi are in bliss, lost in one another. Brighu is humiliated there gets furious and kicks Maha Vishnu on His chest where His consort, Maha Lakshmi resides. The Goddess who is humiliated as a result of this act is shocked and angry. Lord Vishnu calms Sage Brighu and apologises to him for his negligence. The Lord thus suppresses the sage’s pride and arrogance and makes him realise that the Trinity are one and the same. Maha Lakshmi becomes further furious, fights with her Lord and leaves Vaikuntam.
Maha Lakshmi descends to the earth seeking peace and Vishnu goes behind her trying to console her, failing in all his attempts. The episodes following this are projected in the dance drama in detail thus leading to the grand marriage of Srinivasa who is none other than Maha Vishnu and Princess Padmavathi Devi. This famous story of the Tirupathi is presented in the format of a dance drama. Music for this production has been composed by Embar Sri Kannan.