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Bhakta Ramadas staged

P. SURYA RAO

The story of the great devotee of Lord Rama was well presented.

Photo: Raju V

IMPRESSIVE DRAMA Good performances marked the play.

The keertanas of Bhaktha Ramadas are immensely popular all over Andhra Pradesh . The story of the great devotee of Lord Rama was depicted well in the form of a dance drama presented by Nataraja Ramakrishna Arts Academy. The drama titled Ramadasu Charitra was staged at Gokaraju Laila Gangaraju Kala Vedika situated on the grounds of G.V.R. Government College of Music and Dance, Vijayawada.

The story began with narrating the Kshetra Puranam of Bhadrachalam Rama temple situated on the banks of River Godavari. The famous temple was built by Kancharla Gopanna who later became known as Bhaktha Ramadas. Gopanna built the Temple with the funds collected by him in the capacity of Tahsildar of Bhadrachalam. This angers King Tanisha who imprisons Gopanna for many years in the Golkonda Fort and subjects him to torture.

Unable to bear the hardships in the prison Gopanna prays and appeals to his Lord Rama in the form of keertanas, to come and save him from his throes. Lord Rama appears in disguise and pays the money Gopanna owed to the ruler and gets him released.

Thereafter, Gopanna goes back to Bhadrachalam and spends the rest of his life at the feet of his Lord and becomes known as Bhakta Ramadas.

Though the overall presentation was rather mediocre, some of the scenes were attractively presented with good performances coming from Pilla Umamaheswara Patrudu who played the title role and also directed the dance drama; Nirmala Vesweswara Rao, Indira, Hemant, Sheik Bal Saida, Lalitha, Sailasri, Kesavan, Kiranmayi, Gayatri and others. There was too much delay between the scenes and this marred the tempo of the show considerably.

Ghantasala Pavankumar's nattuvangam was efficient and vocal support by Muralidhar Rao, Govinda Reddy and Umadevi was neat.

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