The South Indian Cultural Association is presenting a two-day festival of Indian classical dances titled Nrithyotsav 2009, on the 16th and the 17th of July. The festival will take place at Ravindra Bharathi, and concerts start at 6:30pm on both the days.
On the 16th, the first day of the festival, P Rama Devi and her disciples from Sri Sai Nataraja Academy Of Kuchipudi Dance are presenting a mythological dance ballet titled 'Sabarigireesa Saranam'. Scripted by Bhim, the music for the ballet has been composed by Srivalli Sarma, and the choreographer is P Rama Devi.
The ballet starts in the traditional way of Pravesa Daruvu of Mahishi, sister of the cruel demon Mahishasura. After news of her brother's death, she goes into penance, and asks Brahma of the boon of 'no death'. When Brahma refuses, explaining that death is inevitable for everyone, and that she can ask for any other boon except this, she seeks invincibility from everyone except a person born without conception.
Mahishi starts harassing saints, and even fights with Indra in Heaven, occupying his throne. Guided by Narada, the Suras and Munis approach Shiva and Vishnu to come to their rescue. Vishnu offers to become Mohini, and by the union of Shiva and Vishnu, Hariharatmaja is born, for the purpose of killing Mahishi.
The celestial couple leaves the child in a forest, with a bell tied around his neck. Panthala Raja, a childless local king picks him up and names him 'Manikantha'. After few years, Panthala Raja is also blessed with his own child. After the education of the children, the king crowns Manikantha as king. The Minister poisons the queen's mind, and as part of a plan hatched to kill Manikantha, she sends him to the forest to get the tiger's milk for her headache. In the forest, Manikanta defeats Mahishi.
He also reforms a cruel dacoit, Vavar, and shows a place to his devotees where his temple would be built, on Sabari hills. Indra takes the form of a Tiger, riding which Manikantha gets back to his kingdom. Multitudes of bhaktas go every year to Sabarimala and have a darsanam of his idol, and also of the Jyothi (star) above in the sky.
Rama Devi is a double graduate from Andhra and Annamalai Universities, and she did her Masters in Philosophy from Madurai Kamaraj University. She holds a Masters degree in Kuchipudi Dance, and she is now pursuing her Doctorate in Kuchipudi.
Rama Devi is a recipient of the Senior Fellowship from the Government Of India, and has also authored a good number of books on the Kuchipudi style of dance. She received the Life Time Achievement Award in 2008 from Aaradhana Cultural Association. Rama has choreographed a number of dance dramas and ballets, including Ashtalakshmi Vaibhavam, Sabarigireesa Saranam and Mohini Bhasmasura. She has also choreographed a dance sequence for a Children's Movie in 2006.
Entry is by donor passes available at the venue, one hour prior to the show. Please contact R Chakrapani at 98491-24675 for further details.