The Lhayee Lugar Performing Arts troupe from Thimphu, Bhutan will stage a special Ramayana performance at Bhopal’s Tribal Museum on Wednesday. The event, organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, will be held as part of a cultural exchange programme with different countries.
The troupe consists of 12 artists. The entire performance will base on Bhutanese traditional culture and religious presentation.
Lhayee Lugar Performing Arts director Sonam Lhendop told HT that the Ramayana shares many traits and themes with the Buddhist epic Gesar Gyalpo.
“Hinduism and Buddhism share many traits and general beliefs with regard to samsara, karma, reincarnation, illusionary nature of the physical world and religious epics. Many Hindu stories are believed and narrated in Buddhism too. One such story is the Ramayana ascribed to the sage Valmiki. In the Buddhist version, Lord Rama features as Ling Gesar Gyalpo and his wife Sita as Sengchang Drumo. The Rakshasa king of Lanka, Ravana features as Horgur Karp Gyalpo,” he said.
‘Dussehra and Diwali are also celebrated in Bhutan’
“Dussehra and Diwali, the festivals that celebrates victory of good over evil, are also observed in Bhutan as we have a large Hindu community. Dussehra is a national holiday in Bhutan as well,” he said.
Speaking about the epic that they will stage, Sonam said their performance will rely heavily on music and melodrama.
‘Play will have traditional Bhutanese music’
“The play will have traditional Bhutanese music using Buddhist religious instruments. The language used in the melodrama will be Dzongkha. The costumes of artists will be traditional Bhutanese dresses, religious robes and traditional soldiers’ dresses and appropriate head gears and footwear. The props will feature Bhutanese traditional weapons like the sword, shield and bow and arrow. Also, at the beginning and in the course of the melodrama, appropriate commentary and explanations of each scene, act and dance will be done in English and Hindi,” Sonam said.
He also said that the play will stage scenes like the unhappy kingdom of Gesar Gyalpo because of Sengchang’s abduction by Horgur Karp; the melancholic life of Gesar and his plan for battle against Horgur to rescue Sengchang; Gesar leaving for battle to bring back Sengchang; Gesar bringing back Sengchang to his kingdom and reception of Gesar and Sengchang by the people and jubilation.
On their fourth visit to India, the last time the troupe performed in Madhya Pradesh was in April, during the Simhastha Kumbh in Ujjain. “In Simhastha, our performance was mainly about dance and music. We staged a couple of tribal dances with live music and received a very good response from the audience,” Sonam said.