“She will follow you like a shadow, always,” says King Janaka, as he gives his daughter Sita in marriage to Rama, Prince of Ayodhya. This famous image of Indian patriarchal tradition in the Ramayana pedestals Sita as submissive satellite, ideal woman, perfect wife, paragon of inviolable chastity.
But when her husband doubts her virtue, she asks, “Why do you say to me what even a petty man will be ashamed to say to his wife? I could not prevent Ravana from abducting me. But don’t you know my heart is always with you? Is Sita the body, or is Sita the mind?”
Blending dance, music and the spoken word, Aham Sita frames five crucial moments in the life of this epic woman.
As Sita tells her story, we also hear voices of other women from Ramayana, Urmila, Ahalya, Surpanakha, Mandodari- telling their stories, meshing into Sita’s saga.
Photos: Ravi Pothukuchy
“An exceptional theatre director, a superb dance artiste, an emotion-steeped singer and a stimulating narrative - make the viewer sit up and take note of Aham Sita, even though it is a well known epic story.”
Charukesi, Kalki, March 2015
“At this repertory production by choreographer Gowri Ramnarayan, she used modern techniques, while at the same time being rooted to culture and tradition, and also by blending music, dance and words.”
The New Indian Express, March 2015
“In tracing Sita’s sensitive contour along a predominantly male dominated epic and drawing parallels of her journey to that of four other bygone stories of women, this mélange of dance and theatre, two very interdependent yet independent visual art forms, brought out new dimensions to synthesize current work in Indian arts. Whether it was precision in literature excerpts or buttressed by the best of music, be it stage décor or compact lighting design, either the actor/dancer wardrobe or stage placements, the production urged the need to imbibe dance-theatre in the organic whole.”
Kalaparva, Austin (USA), April 2016