A performing arts school is run by the Indian cultural organization Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (SBKK) in New Delhi. It was founded in 1952 by Sumitra Charat Ram and provides vocal and instrumental training in Hindustani classical dance and music, such as Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, and Chhau. The Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts is an affiliated organization situated at Safdar Hashmi Marg in the Mandi House neighbourhood of Delhi, which is also known as the cultural centre. The centre is comprised of an acting school, a theatre repertory company, and a performing arts theatre.
The famous Ramlila of Delhi depicts the life of Shri Ram and the entire staged Ramayana.
Often referred to as Bharatiya Kala Kendra, its current director is Shobha Deepak Singh, the daughter of the organization’s founder, Sumitra Charat Ram. It is now widely recognized for its annual Ramlila, a 10-day Dussehra celebration that depicts the life of Rama. The Ramlila has developed new choreographies utilizing a range of choreographers and styles since it started at the centre in 1957, fusing both folk and Indian classical dance.
Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra’s dance-drama Shri Ram, which has been performed 3,350 times over the course of 67 years, keeps growing thanks to the commitment of its performers, crew, and patrons.
Many of the 650 attendees removed their shoes as a sign of respect as the Ramlila by the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (SBKK) artists came to an end on Sunday night. After the two-and-a-half hours of performance, they waited their turn to take selfies with the actors.
Many of the people who portrayed the main characters in the Ramayana fell at the feet of the performers amid the din of people chanting Jai Siya Ram and requesting autographs and photos. For the past 67 years, including during COVID, the yearly dance-drama has been performed to packed houses.
Held annually in the three weeks between Diwali and Dussehra on the lawns of SBKK on Copernicus Marg, the show draws visitors from outside the city as well. “This is our yearly family get-together,” a guest from Meerut, who has been coming for 19 years with his spouse and son, explained.
Producer-director Shobha Deepak Singh, who uses a wheelchair and an oxygen nasal cannula during the final performance of the year, graciously accepts the applause. “I am thinking about the changes for the 2024 show already,” she remarked. “I attend every show annually in order to inspire the team. The 80-year-old added, “Occasionally, I also apply the final touches to their makeup.
In 1952, her mother Sumitra Charat Ram founded SBKK, and in 1957, she introduced the Ramlila. “My mother and I would sit through the rehearsals in the basement of our Kasturba Gandhi Marg home, where Mrs. Indira Gandhi would frequently join us. She recalls that Pt. Nehru attended to inaugurate the first performance at Feroze Shah Kotla grounds, and she further states that she began doing so in 1969.
They have tried many things and have come a long way, from using bubble gum to make the nose of the demon Surpanakha look raw to using bamboo chips as ornaments. Back in my youth, I watched Nukkad Ramlila. Seeing SBKK’s extravagant production for the first time happened in 2000.
Every year, it is captivating,” said Veena Tanwar, a 25-year watcher of the show. Since Rama and Ravana have been performing together for thirty years this year, their onstage rivals received a hearty round of applause behind the scenes.
Along with spending his evenings practising at Ambedkar Stadium, 43-year-old actor Swapan Majumdar, who plays Ravan, says he used to go to SBKK, the dance school where Raj Kumar Sharma was a student. “In Dayalpur, which is in northeast Delhi, we used to live next door to each other,” Mr. Majumdar says.