Playwright: Srimanta Sankardev
Director: Paramananda Kakaty Borbayan
Group: Gurukul Sattriya Sanskriti Prashishikhan Kendra, Assam
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins
Bhaona is a traditional form of entertainment with a religious message, and is prevalent in Assam, India. It is a creation of Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeva and was written in the early sixteenth century. The plays of Bhaona are popularly known as Ankiya Naats.
Bhaona is generally staged at xatras and namghars in Assam. The play has live instruments and singers, dances and elaborate costumes in the production. The play usually starts with the prelude, or Purvaranga. The instruments are played with exaggerated hand movements and in two different paces called Saru-Dhemali and Bor-Dhemali. After the prelude, the narrator, or Sutradhar, enters the stage and begins the actual performance.
Ram Bijoy or Ram Vijaya of Srimanta Sankardev is an Ankiya Naat (one-act play) which depicts the victory of Lord Rama in the swayamvar held at King Janak’s palace. As told in Valmiki’s Ramayana, Janaka, the king of Mithila promises to marry his daughter Sita to the one who can lift the bow (Shiv-Dhanush) and string it. The kings attending the contest try their best but fail. Ramachandra lifts the bow with ease and strings it. The bow snaps under Rama’s strength. Guru Vashishtha performs the religious rituals of the marriage ceremony of Rama with Sita. After the wedding ceremony is over, Ram and Sita set off with their entourage for Ayodhya. On the way, Rama is attacked by sage Parasuram who is infuriated with Rama for having broken the bow since it belonged to the sage’s master, Lord Shiva.
Introducing a new era in dramatic literature and stage performance in the first half of the sixteenth century, Srimanta Sankardev become the first playwright of Assam. Through the Ankiya Bhaona Ram Bijoy I have tried an artistic fusion of classical Sanskrit Drama with folk and traditional elements of Assam. I hope those interested in theatre will be able to distinguish the difference and would enjoy this performance that has the fusion of classical and traditional elements.
Paramananda Kakaty Borbayan is a graduate in Sattriya Dance from Sattriya Music College, Jorhat, Dibrugarh University. He is also a Visharad in Violin from Nikhil Bharat Sangeet Samiti. He has received the Senior Scholarship from the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the 2004, Junior Fellowship of CCRT, Govt. of India, Sanskrit Award of Sahitya Sabha, B High grade in Borgeet from All India Radio. He is now a faculty at Srimanata Sankardev University, Guwahati.
Srimanta Sankardev, a great saint-scholar, socio-cultural and religious reformer, was born in Borduwa, Nagaon of Assam. He wrote and translated many religious books and lyrics in Sanskrit, Assamese and Brajavali. His major literary creations are Kirton Ghosa, Gunamala, Borgeet (Noble Songs) and Ankiya Naat, the latter being developed in accordance with the Natyashastra. The plays were written in a language called Brajavali which is a mix of Assamese and Maithili. Mahapurush Sankardev died in 1568 at the age of 120 in Cooch Behar.
Established in 2005 in Titabar, Jorhat, Assam, Gurukul Cultural Academy was founded by Guru Paramananda Kakaty Borbayan. Sattriya dance, along with Abhinaya, Gayan-Bayan and Borgeet, is taught in this school. Many students of this academy have been selected for the CCRT scholarship, Young Artiste scholarship and Junior Fellowship under India’s Ministry of Culture.
Cast & Credits
|Bayan/Vocal||Paramananda Kakaty Borbayan|
|Director||Paramananda Kakaty Borbayan|
Paramananda Kakaty Borbayan
Gurukul Sattriya Sanskriti Prashishikhan Kendra
Village: Kamalabari Satra
P.O: Mahimabari, (Titabar)
Jorhat, Assam – 785630
M: +91 9707070981