16 – 18 Nov 2018
Fri – Sun
7.45pm & 8.45pm
Esplanade Forecourt Garden
The shadow puppet theatre of Odisha is known as Ravan chhaya, which translates to “the shadow of Ravan”. Even though the series of plays follows the life of Rama, the demon king Ravana is featured as the protagonist because Rama, as a divine being, theoretically cannot cast shadows. The artform is based on stories from the Vichitra Ramayan, an Odia version of the Ramayana written by the 17th century Odia poet Vishwanath Khuntia.
Ravan chhaya was popular in the Angul and Dhenkanal districts of Odisha in the late 19th century. At present, it is practiced only in Odash village of Angul.
About the artists
Ravan Chhaya Natya Sansada, one of the premier shadow puppetry institutions of Odisha, was established in the year 1982 by late guru Kathinanda Das. The Sansada, a registered cultural society, has devoted itself to the preservation, propagation and promotion of the rare traditional art. It maintains a full repertory group of performances and imparts training to youngsters in puppet-making, designing, manipulation techniques and music.