Extraordinary performance by Mrinalini Sadananda  
- Krishnamurthy Viswanathan 
e-mail: kriviswanathan@yahoo.com 
July 29, 2008 

I left the auditorium feeling as though I had just witnessed the events of Ramayana on July 12, 2008. The stories I had read as a child transformed into a living, breathing entity, and I felt Sri Rama and Sita appeared in front of me to re-enact their story. Such was the choreography of Mrinalini Sadananda.  

Her imagination in putting the events together showed the wealth of our Indian culture. The uniqueness of this drama lay in the fusion of different elements needed for a classical ballet. The performance began with the principal characters. Each daughter-in-law of Dasaratha came on to the stage with a pravesa daruvu and introduced their spouse. It was amazing to see the four sons of Dasaratha and their wives on the stage at the end of the first scene.  

Mrinalini as Sita robbed the audience of their hearts. When she smiled, the audience smiled; when she wept due to the separation with her beloved Sri Rama, the audience wept. Her subtle expressions and vigorous footwork proved her ability as a superstar. Her choreography where Sri Rama leaves to the forest with Lakshmana and Sita was heart breaking. Sowmya Ratnasekhar who acted as Sri Rama carried the role with absolute grace. She depicted Sri Rama searching for Sita with such emotion causing me to want to join in the search.  

Kavitha Cheedalla, who acted as Lakshmana, superbly expressed love for his elder brother, Sri Rama. Pragathi Kollu, who acted as Dasaratha and Ravana, portrayed both the characters with great integrity. Both Sirisha Sripada, who acted as Kaikeyi, and Sarada Akuluru, who portrayed Mandara, transformed into their characters. Roshni Patel, as Sarpamatha and Ajaya  Moturu as Meru, helped reveal the story very vividly. Divya Swamy made the audience feel that Anjaneya descended amongst them.  She dressed like Hanuman and moved like Hanuman. Her confidence and her expression of devotion for Lord Rama was intense and unforgettable. Radhika Rao did justice to every role she played. The evil Surpanakha, the monstress Simhika and Sabari, the noblest devotee of Lord Rama, was handled by Radhika in such a skillful manner proving that she is a born artist. The change of evil Supanakha to a seductress was projected very well by Prerana Pathak. The fight Sathvika Chadive as Jatayu gave was worth mentioning. Even in the most helpless situation Jatayu did not give up till he met Rama and became one with Him.  

Mrinalini alone could bring toddlers to the stage and make them dance with poise and rhythm. This was very evident in Panchavati. The kids acted like peacocks, birds, bees, flowers, clouds, the sun, the moon and the stars added sparkle to the stage, making the audience feel the beauty and peace of the forest. The final scene of Rama Pattabhishekam left a significant impact in my heart and my soul.