International Ramayana Festival

Posted on November 22, 2011

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His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, King Rama IX of the Royal House of Chakri of Thailand, was born on December 5, 1927. This year 2011, being the year of the Rabbit, is His Majesty’s 7th cycle or 84th Birthday Anniversary.

 

On this most auspicious occasion, the Thai Government is organizing nationwide celebrations in His honour. The Ministry of Culture is participating in the grand celebration with an International Ramayana Festival, in accordance with the ancient Thai belief that the reigning king is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the personification of King Rama, exactly as told in the Indian epic Ramayana (The Story of Rama). It is most appropriate therefore to stage a grand performance of the Thai version of the epic, Ramakirti (In Honour of Rama), as a part of the Celebration. Furthermore, since the same story has spread far and wide, and has become well known throughout Southeast Asia, Thailand has invited other countries that maintain a cultural tradition of performing the Ramayana to the present day to participate in this grand celebration in Bangkok.

Seven countries have responded to the invitation with the intention to join, namely Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore. The venue is The National Theatre and all performances are open to the public free of charge.

Framework of the Festival
The festival organizers have conceived of an overall framework for the International Ramayana as follows:

Date

Afternoon

Evening

December 5, 2011 16.00 Hrs.
Opening Ceremony jointly performed by all participating countries.
December 6, 2011 19.00 hrs.
Individual Country Performance s by India, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand
December 7, 2011 19.00 hrs.
Individual Country Performance s by Singapore, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Cambodia
December 9, 2011 13.00 hrs.
Dress rehearsal of Joint Ramayana Performance
(open to the public)
20.00 hrs.
Joint Ramayana Performance by all countries in 9 episodes

The Opening Ceremony
On December 5, 2011, at 4.00 p.m., at the National Theatre, there will be an official Opening Ceremony and Opening Performance. The performance begins with a musical tribute by all participating countries (5 minutes per country) as an overture. After that, each country will in turn and in alphabetical order of the country name, presents a specially prepared song and dance of benediction to His Majesty the King (5 minutes per country). At the end of the performance, the entire audience is invited to sing the Royal Anthem in honour of His Majesty the King. Visiting countries are invited to join at their options.

The Individual Country Performances
On December 6 and 7, 2011, at 7.00 p.m., all participating countries will present an episode of Ramayana of their own choosing with the allotted time frame of 30 minutes per country. The grouping of countries to perform in each evening and the order of performance has been decided on the chosen episode and the avoidance of showing duplicate episodes on the same day. The performances are as follows:
6 December:

The Bow Contest and Wedding of Rama and Sita by India
The Golden Deer by Myanmar
The Abduction of Sita by Philippines
A Grand Battle between Rama and Ravana by Thailand

7 December:

The Incarnation of Vishnu by Singapore
The Abduction of Sita by Lao PDR
The Final Battle and Sita’s Fire Ordeal by Indonesia
Ream Leak Chup Leak by Cambodia

The Joint Ramayana Performance
On December 9, 2001, at 1 pm. there will be a dress rehearsal followed at 8 pm. by the Joint Ramayana Performance in which all participating countries take turns to perform the Ramayana from the beginning to the end, each in its own performing arts style. Both performances will be open to the public.

The sequence of performance is as follows (10 minutes per country):

Homrong: Overture music performed by the Thai Classical Music Ensemble of Ban Plainern, graciously led by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, in veneration of the Buddha, the Gods and Gurus of the Performing Arts.
Episode 1: “The Bow Contest and Marriage of Rama and Sita” by Myanmar
Episode 2: “The Meeting with Surpanakha” by Singapore
Episode 3: “The Golden Deer and Abduction of Sita” by Lao PDR
Episode 4: “Jatayu’s Intervention and Rama Meets Hanuman” by India
Episode 5: “Hanuman’s Visit to Sita and the Burning of Lanka” by Indonesia
Episode 6: “Hanuman and Suvann Machha” by Cambodia
Episode 7: “A Battle Between Rama and Ravana” by Thailand
Episode 8: “Sita’s Ordeal by Fire” by Philippines
Episode 9: “The Triumphant Return to Ayodhya” by Thailand
Finale: Leading performers from participating counties gather on stage to visit the reigning King Rama; angels perform a dance of benediction; all attendants of the Joint Ramayana Festival sing the Royal Anthem.

Ticketing Information
All performances are free of charge. Members of the public are requested to submit requests for individual or group invitations stating the performance they wish to attend. Invitation cards may be exchanged for seating tickets not less than half an hour prior to the stated performance time. After this deadline, the remaining seats will be distributed to non holders of invitation cards on a first come first served basis.

For reservation, please contact the International Relations Bureau of the Ministry of Culture at ramayana_moc@hotmail.com

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Posted in: Bangkok