We all know the wonderful work in theatre done by our neighbour, Adishakti, and have had the opportunity to enjoy excellent performances by them and by the artists they have invited. Since Veenapani’s death, the company has shared with us a yearly festival in her memory.

On April 7th, we will have the opportunity to see their new production BALI. Scripted and directed by Nimmy Raphel, BALI has the eyes of India’s theatre world turned onto it because it is the first play coming out of Adishakti since the passing of its well-known founder.

In Auroville, we have had the opportunity to follow the work of Nimmy as she journeyed from being a ‘musician’ in BRHANNALA to the highly skilled and talented actor that the world now recognises her as. She stepped into scripting and direction under the guidance of Veenapani and created her first solo production, NIDRAVATHWAM, with a story based around a mythological character from the Mahabharata.

In BALI, she continues to draw inspiration from mythology, and has chosen to re-look at one of the most controversial moments in the Ramayana. The story is popular with actors of Kathakali, Therukoothu, and other traditional theatre forms and the discussion around the ethics of the death of Bali is a moment that is skillfully dwelt upon and played out in these performances. Of course, the role of the monkey-king is given to the best and most experienced actor only. In Nimmy’s version, we have the promise of enjoying the skill and craft of Adishakti’s vetaran actor (and artistic director!), Vinay Kumar, in the role of Bali.

If you don’t already know the story of Bali (or Vali) and Sugriva, do look it up before going for the play. Here are a few links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vali_(Ramayana); http://ritsin.com/a-tale-of-two-brothers-bali-and-sugriva-the-ramayana.html/; https://sites.google.com/site/karmastoriesou/vali-s-story; https://thewire.in/books/arshia-sattar-ramayana-children; http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Kishkinda_Kandam#Bali_Vadham.

The premiere of BALI is this Saturday, April 7, at 7pm at Adishakti in Edayanchavadi. There will only be one showing.

I, for one, am certainly looking forward to seeing Vinay, Arvind and gang back on stage together in this new production, towards which they have been working on for the last many many months!! Thank you Nimmy.

by Krishna Devanandan for AVArtService

April 7, Saturday, 7pm
Adishakti, Edayanchavadi