CASS Professor and IPAG Artistic Director Dr. Steven P.C. Fernandez met with representatives of the 10 ASEAN countries and India to prepare for the celebration of the 234th Founding of Bangkok, Thailand.
The Preparatory Meeting presided by M.R. Chakrarot Chitrabongs, Former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, set collaborations for the ASEAN Cultural Expo on April 18-25 in Bangkok. Highlight of the Expo will be the Ramayana Festival where each country has been assigned one episode to perform in the full-feature performance of the epic.
The Philippines represented by the IPAG is assigned the final climactic battle and Sita’s fire ordeal.
The Ramayana is the 5th BCE Sanskrit epic by poet Valmiki which narrative has found its way to mainstream and Southeast Asia. Emphasizing the Hindu values of virtue and loyalty, the epic has evolved into versions shared as a common cultural feature among Asians.
Assigned to perform other episodes during the ASEAN Cultural Expo are: Invocation of the God and Mithila Scene (India), The Golden Deer and Abduction of Sita (Myanmar), Satayu’s Intervention and Volunteer of the monkey troops (Indonesia), Pipek in exile (Lao PDR), Hanuman’s encounter with Sita (Singapore), The Burning of Lanka, Hanuman and Suvann Machha (Cambodia), and the Triumphant Return to Ayodhya (host Thailand).
Besides this collaboration, each country will perform selected episodes from their versions of the Ramayana.
IPAG, which premiered a transcreated version of the IPAG to full houses and critical acclaim in December, performs in four occasions at the Sanam Luang Royal Field, ASEAN Cultural Center, and the National Theatre.