Divinely Dressed: Characters from the 2,000-year-old Indian epic "Ramayana" are outfitted in elaborate costumes.

Enlighten Up 

Forty-five actors, dancers, and performers from Greenville’s Nrithyanjali School of Dance bring the Indian epic "Ramayana" to Furman University's McAlister Auditorium

In her best-selling novel, Eat, Pray, Love, author Elizabeth Gilbert spends four months behind the walls of an Indian ashram, studying under a spiritual guru and meditating from sunup to sundown, in hopes of reconnecting with God and restoring her true self.

Who couldn’t benefit from a bit of personal restoration and enlightenment these days? Unfortunately, few of us have a whole year (or a hefty book advance) to spend securing it.

Consider, instead, embarking on a spiritual and cultural journey that keeps you closer to home by attending Greenville’s Nrithyanjali School of Dance Performance of “Ramayana.” This two-hour dance-drama explores the themes of human existence and the concept of dharma (ethics) with a beautiful combination of song, drama, and dance.

The 2,000-year-old Indian epic “Ramayana” has been a continuing source of spiritual, cultural, and artistic inspiration for millions of people all over the world—telling the story of King Rama, who represents the embodiment of truth, morality, the ideal son, the ideal husband, and above all, the ideal king. The story weaves a timeless tale of love, duty, and the battle between good and evil. No wonder it’s sometimes referred to as the Iliad, the Bible, and Arthurian romance all rolled into one.

Forty-five actors and dancers have rehearsed for more than six months in preparation for this production, which also features stunning artistic set design, original costumes, and professional performances—both dramatic and musical. Directed and choreographed by Sunitha Raj, the show is set to live orchestra accompaniment.

Enriching, enthralling, and uncommon to the Upstate, “Ramayana” is sure to entertain. But taking the opportunity to attend this rare cultural event is likely to leave you inspired, as well.

--Heidi Coryell Williams

What: Greenville’s Nrithyanjali School of Dance Performance of “Ramayana”
Where: Furman’s McAlister Auditorium
When: 5 p.m., October 24
Cost: $10 adults, $5 children ages 5-9, free for children under 5

Reserve seats in advance at www.nrithyanjalisc.com. Proceeds benefit the Vedic Center of Greenville (an Indian community center) and Unicef. At the show’s conclusion, India Palace of Greenville will be selling ethnic cuisine.


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