Dolled up to enact and express

It was a nostalgic trip when the students of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Group of Schools performed the modern Ramayana titled ‘Doll-aayana’ on stage. 

Published: 14th August 2023 08:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2023 08:07 AM   |  A+A-

PHOTOS: P Jawahar

Express News Service

CHENNAI:   Have you ever imagined how the epic Ramayana would turn out if it was happening in today’s times? Probably Rama and Sita would be swapped with Ken and Barbie, Ravana will be a witch who kidnaps princesses and curses them, the Vanar  Sena who led the way to Lanka would be Dora and her boots, and the forest that Rama and Sita go to after being exiled would be the one where Mougli resides? How creative all this is to imagine, mixing all the tales that we listened to while growing up. It was a nostalgic trip when the students of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Group of Schools performed the modern Ramayana titled ‘Doll-aayana’ on stage. 

The 66th Anniversary Celebrations of the group of schools, Abhinaya 2023, witnessed a thematic presentation of Theeratha Vilaiyaattu Bommai - Timeless Dolls Timely Companion. The programme was held at Kamarajar Arangam from Thursday for two days.  Chevalier Aruna Sairam and actress Suhasini Maniratnam were chief guests. 

As Garry L Landreth quotes ‘Toys are children’s words and play is their language’, this year’s celebration was a rendition of the two. Durga Chandrashekhar, senior vice principal from the Nungambakkam branch said,  “We were informed of the theme during the Summer holidays as we get time to think and come up with ideas.” The school staff made sure that the students have fun, learn and gain self-confidence while participating, and right so, it was the students who brought their touch to the performances. They recorded dialogues, voiceovers, songs, and even built props for each performance. “We wanted this to be a students programme for and by students” added Durga. The staff guided the students with doubts throughout the practise sessions for over 20 days. 

The celebration also saw the launch of The PSBB Chronicles a book that highlights the achievements and successes of the students, a modified website launch and a video showing the lives of the alumni. “It gives me immense pleasure to see our kids coming up with wonderful performances year after year. ” said Sheela Rajendran, dean, PSBB Schools.

A play explaining the Japanese tradition of Hinamatsuri, where dolls are decked up and arranged in steps, a musical on  Ross Montgomery’s The Midnight Guardians and a performance of dancing dolls from various states of the country followed.

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