“I am Ravana”- Spreading the joy of dance and theatre to the young
The I AM RAVANA WORKSHOP was held in Brickfields, Temple of Fine Arts. Kanagasabai Studio hosted 50 students (9-12 years old) along with 3 Kuala Lumpur coordinators – Mathan Rajasingam, Hariraam Tingyuan Lam and Harshini Sukumaran (27-32 years old).
Harshini led the 2-hour workshop by conducting an ice-breaker wherein everyone was welcomed to introduce themselves by sharing their names, age and their favourite food.
Mathan who takes on the role of Ravana in the theatrical performance delivered excellent voice projection to have the students be attentive and participative.
Hariraam played the role of an elderly brother figure and shared the story of the epic Ramayana whilst inviting the inquisitive audience to bounce ideas through interactive discussions.
Our little members of the audience were further invited to act out the role of Hanuman and his comrades with facial expression, posture and movement.
This was led by coordinator Hariraam who did a fantastic job in acting out a nimble and highly energetic mythical monkey god, Hanuman, coupled with cartwheels.
The kids were encouraged to follow suit across the studio, showing good space control without losing a sense of organisation as the kids obediently stood in rows as they waited for their turn to carry out the actions. The kids were also guided through various warm up techniques throughout the session to prevent muscle cramps and lethargy.
The session then continued with Hariraam and the children who are a part of the cast in the I AM RAVANA theatrical performance, as a sneak peak to what the audience can look forward to when they watch the show.
The children who made up the audience had their attention fixated on the swift and energetic moves. The choice to have included the Hanuman actions and gestures along with a sneak preview was a smart move as the playfulness and exuberance the monkey god emulates is childlike, befitting our audience.
Harshini was noted to have adopted the role of a strict coordinator, ensuring the children are in step and not behaving out of line. The workshop concluded with more guided dance movement with the children. They then made an exit in well organised rows like the well-behaved children they are.
Overall, the objective of the workshop was to educate the little ones on what the Hindu epic Ramayana is about as well as to provide a glimpse on what to expect in the live performance in September.
Children from the homes of Sivananda Home and Karunai Illam are given the opportunity to deepen their aesthetic appreciation alongside knowledge of their cultural roots with this workshop.
A token of gratitude is also bestowed upon the Temple of Fine Arts students with this workshop for the purchase of the I AM RAVANA tickets.