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Ramayana events - June 2008

The Ramayana
Javanese Shadow Puppetry and Gamelan Performances

Sunday 1 June 2008

Shadow puppet theatre, wayang kulit, remains a vibrant and popular tradition across South East Asia and in particular Java and Bali, where it is accompanied by the hypnotic chiming rhythms of the gamelan. Its combination of action, comedy, morality play and social commentary makes it perfectly suited to telling the story of the Ramayana. The British Library is proud to present an ensemble of world class performers bringing the Ramayana to dramatic life over four days.

Please note these will be unseated performances.

Event time: 14.00
Location: Entrance Hall, British Library
Price: Free. Tickets must be booked in advance.

All Tickets Taken


Once Upon a Time - The Ramayana as Painted Narrative
Vidya Dehejia

Monday 2 June 2008

Focusing on the magnificent British Library manuscripts, this talk explores the different ways in which artists presented the Ramayana narratives and the varied ways that the viewer responds. Capitalising on the lure of storytelling, artists of richly painted manuscripts in pre-modern India used many different ways of telling the story of Rama. Just as one may narrate a story in the form of a novel, a poem, or a drama; so too one may present it visually as continuous narrative, a narrative network or monoscenically.

Vidya Dehejia is Barbara Stoler Miller, Professor of Indian Art, Columbia University, New York.

Event time: 18.30 - 20.00
Location: Conference Centre, British Library
Price: £6 (concessions £4)

Book


Late at The Library

Thursday 5 June 2008

A special open house with live music from tabla virtuoso and composer Kuljit Bhamra, club DJs Bobby Friction and Nerm, screenings, bars and late access to British Library exhibitions including The Ramayana: Love and Valour in India's Great Epic.

Supported by BBC Asian Network
Presented as apart of the Lates festival

Event time: 19.00-23.00
Location: Entrance Hall, British Library
Price: £5 (no concessions)

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Lates logoBBC Asian Network logo


Three Hundred Ramayanas
Jatinder Verma and Michael Wood

Wednesday 11 June 2008

More than any other story in the world's great literature, the Ramayana exists in many, often radically different, versions. Some have become the moral bedrock of millions, spinning their own large scale traditions of devotion and performance. This great epic has been set against invasions, migrations and colonisations, has been retold in dozens of languages, and garnered the world's largest ever TV audience. It remains to this day an extremely potent force, whether as the spark behind the razing of the Ayodhya mosque in 1992, the focus of intense debate among Indian feminists, or even the subject of a recent dispute over the dredging of a shipping channel between Sri Lanka and India.

The endlessly fascinating context and living history of the Ramayana is explored in a discussion between Michael Wood, writer, historian and broadcaster known for his many books and BBC series, most recently The Story Of India; and Jatinder Verma, Artistic Director of Tara Arts and co-designer of the exhibition.

Event time: 18.30 - 20.00
Location: Conference Centre, British Library
Price: £6 (concessions £4)

Book


Ramayan - An Epic Re-Screened

Thursday 12 - Sunday 15 June 2008

Ramayan on televisionScreened across India from 1987-88, Ramanand Sagar's 78-episode Ramayan remains one of the great phenomena of world television history. It was enormously popular, drawing audiences of over 100 million with whole communities coming to a stop every Sunday morning in order to follow the adventures of Rama.

The British Library presents a chance to sample this remarkable re-imagining of India's great myth as it is shown in marathon fashion across four days.

Presented with the kind agreement of Sagar Arts

Location: Entrance Hall, British Library
Price: Free, drop in. This event is not seated.

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