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Maya Ravan

Padmashri Urvashi Shobana's magnum opus, classical dance - musical in English comes to Singapore after raving reviews, packed spellbound audiences and critical acclaim across the world. "Maya Ravan" comes to Singapore as part of Soorya Global Festival of Indian Dance & Music. Set to classical music world music and popular film music it is even considered to be equivalent to a Broadway Musical .


Date : 08 May 2011 (Sunday), Time: 7.00 PM
Venue: Drama Centre Thetare

(Drama Centre is at Level 3, NLB Building, 100 Victoria Street)


MAYA RAVAN - The spectacular Dance - Musical in English

Padmasree Shobana the highly acclaimed dancer and twice national award winning actress with her team presents a spellbinding extravaganza 'Maya Ravan' a Dance - Musical Theatre in English.

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After it's hugely success stint across 28 cities in USA, Middle East, Malaysia and Indi, running to full house this critically acclaimed English Dance - Musical comes to Singapore. This production lends a completely new dimension and definition to the world of entertainment by its unique treatment of the subject.

Maya Ravan is a 2 and a half hour dance musical in English describing the great epic Ramayana. Interestingly this Musical interprets Ramayana through the eyes and life of the demon king Ravana ruler of Lanka, himself a great scholar, sorcerer and worshipper of Lord Shiva who falls into disrepute for abducting Sita wife of Lord Rama... the story continues...

What makes this musical special - is that the complexity of understanding the facial, hand and body expressions is simplified. With each main character having their own background voices, it is made easier to understand the fine art of expressions' in classical bharatanatyam dance.

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Bollywood and other popular cine actors lend their voices in English to bring the characters alive adding to the charm of the presentation.

Nasseruddin Shah (Ravana), Milind Soman (Rama), Mohanlal (Hanuman), Jackie Shroff (Dasharatha), Revathy (Kaikeyi), Tabu ( Mandothari) and many others from the cine field.

So with dramatic storyline, emotion packed dialogues, exaggerated acting, catchy tunes, glittery costumes, projections that help audience identify the plot of each scene Maya Ravan sets the stage ablaze. Shobana brings with her a diva aura replete with extravagant make up, costumes and larger than life acting!

Thus combining powerful background voices, along with the union of classical bharathanatyam dance form and other dance forms and traditional Indian music, world music and popular film music this musical is a thorough entertainer! It is equivalent to a Broadway Musical.

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...Maya Ravan is a two and half hour music, dance and theatre extravaganza with exquisite backdrop changes, stunning costumes & spectacular lighting. The story in itself is unique, approaching the Ramayana with Ravana as the protagonist giving a fresh and dynamic twist to the epic. Maya Ravan is a gripping presentation of Indian Mythology, a path breaking interpretation of the epic Ramayana, which leaves the viewer mesmerized. The beauty of Indian dance is captured in full glory by Shobana and her team of dancers. Here she tells the story through the eyes of Ravana. The villainous Ravana, is enacted in dance form by Shobana herself with a series of complex gestures and facial expressions, coupled with explosive rhythmic dancing...( a review )

Maya Ravan the story

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About Padma Shri Urvashi Shobana

Shobana the dancer , one of the foremost classical dancers from India today, is an artist of great demand in the top dance festivals of India for the last two decades and has performed extensively in India as well as USA, Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. Shobana, the dancer, has been the in the field for the last 30 years. After her initiation under Guru K J Sarasa, Shobana did her advanced training under Maestro Chitra Visveswaran. Shobana branched out as an independent, individual performing artist when she entered her twenties. Ever since, Shobana has established herself as a pre-eminent exponentof Bharata natyam, performing in a wide range of traditional and contemporary platforms. Shobana has also performed along with artists of stature such as Ustad Zakir Hussain, Vikku Vinayak Ram, Sonal Mansingh, and Padma Subrahmanyam. In 1984 after five years of intensive study at the Chidambaram Academy, Madras, she made her debut on stage proving her inherent gift as a fine dancer. Since then she has continued to perform to audiences of connoisseurs both in India and abroad. Shobana has also performed in Kuala Lumpur before the King and Queen of Malaysia. And for the former US President Bill Clinton. Her dance tours have taken her all over the world.

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Shobana, the choreographer, was born along with Shobana the dancer. Her choreographic works have been particularly appreciated and attributed to her rigorous and holistic training in the arts. Shobana's basic training in the mridangam for laya and tala; the flute and vocal Carnatic music for musical knowledge has given her a rare insight into all dimensions of choreography and composing. Shobana's excellent performance calibre, along with her choreographic capabilities, has won her many accolades and awards all over the world. Shobana, the teacher, was incarnated after she became an active and mature performer. Shobana realized that teaching would enable her to share her cumulative knowledge with others of the next generation, as well as enable her own growth and evolution as an artist. Kalarpana Trust was set up in 1994 to impart training in all aspects of dance, with a modest five students. Today, Kalarpana benefits 92 students, mostly girls from the poorer classes, and two generations have students have already been prepared as teachers, trainers, performers and performance conductors - nattuvanaars). Some of these students have even branched out to open their own schools of dance.

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Shobana, the cinema artist, did her first film at the age of nine, and even won her first award as child artists for the film Mangalanayaki (Tamil). She has worked in the widest possible range of films, totalling close to 200, in all four south Indian languages. Some directors she has worked with are Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Aravindan, Manirathnam, K Balachander, K Raghavendra Rao and innumerable others. Shobana has won Two National (President's) awards for Manichitrathaazhu (Malayalam) in 1994 and Mitr, My Friend (Indian/English), 2002.

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Shobana, the classical dancer, choreographer, teacher and actress have culminated in a distinguished well rounded artist who has brought pride to Indian traditional and contemporary culture not only in India but also around the world. Her constant innovations and creativity in both the fields has led one of her eminent cinema colleagues to publicly claim that Shobana is probably the only artist in her generation who is capable of inventing a new genre of movement and aesthetics in dance.

Accomplishments and Awards

* First prize at the Pongal festival by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha - 1990

* Natya Ratna Awarded by Deccan Fine Arts, Secundrabad - 1992

* Natya Jothi Title Awarded by Indian Fine Arts, Australia - 1994

* Yuva Kala Bharathi Awarded by Bharat Kalachar - 1995

* Natya Mayuri Secunderabad Fine Arts - 1995

* Bharata Kalaratna Awarded by Bharathalaya - 1996

* Nadana Mamani Awarded by Karthik Fine Arts - 1997

* Ugadi Purskhar Awarded by Madras Telugu Academy - 1998

* Thara Rani Awarded by Malayalam Manorama, Kerala - 2009

* Kalaimamani, highest honour by the State Govenrment of Tamil Nadu, India - 2009

* Choreographed dances for "Dance like a man", Winner of the national film award for the best feature film (2003) and "Manichitrathazhu", Winner of the national film award for wholesome entertainment (1993)

* Indian National award for the best actress for films, "Manichitrathaazhu" (Malayalam) in 1994 and "Mitr, My Friend" (Indian/English), 2002.

* "Padma Shri" award given by the Government of India, in recognition of distinguished contribution in the Arts (2006)

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