Online classes on Ram Lila begin for foreign students

AYODHYA: The Ayodhya Research Centre has started an online six-month certificate course that will educate people, mainly in foreign countries, on how Ram Lila is performed in India.

The online classes began earlier this month and students from the US, Canada, South America, Caribbean countries and Mauritius have enrolled in the course.

Professor Y. P. Singh, Director of the institute, said the project was conceptualised during lockdown when online learning took the centrestage.

“Two classes have already been held. We conduct classes at night in India so that students in western countries may attend it as it is morning there. We have taken Ram Lila abroad and have a network of people who either perform or organise Ram Lila. When we discussed the idea with them, their response was positive.”

He further said that efforts would be made to bring at least five of these groups to India to perform at Deepotsav during Diwali.

In the online classes, students are taught about makeup and voice modulation. They learn how Sita’s dressing up is different from that of Surpanakha and how Ravan’s laughter is different from that of Ram.

These youngsters are also getting an insight into the hard work that goes into staging of Ram Lila in north India.

Singh said that the classes are being conducted by theatre artist Manvendra Tripathi of Gorakhpur, who himself plays the role of Ram.

Live sessions have modules on makeup, dialogue delivery, decor, costumes, stage decorations are also a part of the course and these will be conducted using video and audio guides, lectures and demonstrations.

“The students can pose questions to experts which will help them get a better understanding of the art form. They will learn about various genres of Ram Lila in India, while experts will specifically focus on the Vyasa style of performance,” Singh said.

Those who take part in the Master Artist Certificate course will be given an opportunity to perform on various platforms.

The online course, financially supported by the Ministry of Culture, will soon be extended to other countries, including Australia and New Zealand, in coming days.


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