Dance Drama Enactment signifying “Victory of Good over Evil”
Ramlila (Rāmlīlā) (literally ‘Rama’s lila or play’) is any dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Rama according to the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana or Ramcharitmanas. It particularly refers to the thousands of Hindu god Rama-related dramatic plays and dance events that are staged during the annual autumn festival of Navratri in India. After the enactment of the legendary war between Good and Evil, the Ramlila celebrations climax in the Dussehra (Dasara, Vijayadashami) night festivities where the giant grotesque effigies of Evil demon Ravana are burnt, typically with fireworks.
Traditionally Ramlila is performed over 10 days during the period of Navratri leading into Diwali. In the most recent times and for better acceptability and convenience of viewing the entire Ramayana narrative is staged and performed in a theatrical performance of about 3 hours. ICAC and its founder directors Ratika & Ajaay Modi have kept the tradition alive in Canada since their arrival in 2006. Many different formats and groups from India and within Canada have performed the Epic all across Canada.
2009 witnessed the largest presentation of Ramlila in Canada performed by over 100 artists and community participants, rehearsed and produced over months of preparations. The act was cherished and enjoyed by thousands. Toronto Star reported the 30 hours non-stop Mahautsav festival as the longest running show on earth to celebrate Diwali. The festival also featured over 500 plus artists & performers from all spheres of arts & culture including all genres of music, dance and performing & visual arts.
MAHAUTSAV shall always remain as the stepping-stone of Diwali RazzMatazz to present day Canada Diwali.
ICAC in association with Indian Revival Group from India collaborated with local Canadian dance groups and temples across GTA to perform Ramlila at numerous temples, theatres and banquets across GTA, Montreal, Ottawa & Winnipeg.
Ramlila @ Hindu Sabha, Brampton is a well-known tradition. In the year 2013 Ramlila was attended by over 25000 people being the biggest ever audience for an outdoor epic performance of Ramlila in North America and anywhere outside of India.
Shiva Foundation from Chennai, India in association and collaboration with numerous local organizations, artists, performers, volunteers and dance groups staged the epic of Ramayana. The highlight of the performance included the group of Kathakali dancers forming the glamorous, bright and colourful set of costumes and grandeur.
Kathakali dancers were a big draw to the festival and thousands of attendees clicked photographs and participated with them in the first ever Diwali Parade.
Guinness Book of World record holders, “Miracle on Wheels – Ability Unlimited”, a group of differently abled artists & performers on wheel chairs performed the epic in an unbelievable act.
The live performance was staged in Ottawa, Montreal, Brampton, Niagara Falls, Mississauga and numerous other temples and stages across GTA.
The group was invited in Ottawa to Parliament Hill for a special recognition along with a tour of the parliament building.
Ramlila was performed on a mega stage with over 100 artists exclusively in India for virtual broadcast through all social media handles of Canada Diwali. Hence, performance was viewed worldwide.
Ram Baraat, a traditional wedding procession was also enacted with a participation of over 200 artists, performers, street brass band, folk performers, theatre artists, light men etc.
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