by (contributed news)
Sita: The Ramayana Revisited premiered at the 2015 Asia-Pacific Bond of Drama Schools in La Salle College of the Arts in Singapore. Since then, this Philippine version of Asia’s most widespread epic from Sanskrit origins has performed to acclaim to large audiences in Bangkok, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Iligan, and now Ayodha in Uttar Pradesh. Ayodha is King Rama’s royal enclave where he built his palace.
Sita highlights Dipotsava 2019, the Ayodha festival, at the Ramkatha Park, 6 p.m. on Oct. 26.
The same Sita performs for more Indian events next year as IPAG’s performance represents India’s influencing presence in Philippine culture. Philippine languages, lore, values, religion, and Filipino creative cultural expressions embed significant influences from India in the Philippines’ long relationships with this sub-continent.
Sita has received much acclaim in its road shows, its glowing reception coming from the most avid Ramayana scholars in the region. The Philippine embassy has revealed that Sita’s popularity in India has been due to its proximity to the spirit and form of the original Indian Sanskrit. IPAG’s Sita has been contemporized to capture social issues in today’s modern society.
This version inspired by the Valmiki original is attributed to Steven P.C. Fernandez who also directed and composed the music with Geejay Areola Langlois.
In the Ayodha cast are Marc Andrew Pasanos (Rama), Xela Ubalde (Sita), Kenn Erwin Velasquez (Hanuman), Joe Mar Lacasan (Lawana), Psymon Flores (Sugriva), MacMarvin Palomares, Joshua Valenciano, Joshua Sanchez, Jane Allyson Dantes, Lochelle Therese Dano, and Lilybeth Maraon (Stage Manager).
Liaison is Hermi Dico, designs by Tres Cantera and Vicmar Paloma, and Dico, with live music performed by Meshaq Dangel, Victor Arlan, and Fernandez.
In related events, Sita drums up the International University Theatre Association (IUTA) when the Philippines hosts this in August 2020 at the CCP. Opening salvo has been set in February at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Photos by: OPI