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The Rama Epic

Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe
Oct 21, 2016 —
Jan 15, 2017


In addition to the fascinating artworks of the exhibition The Rama Epic, we offer a marvelous slate of programs that allow you to enter the tale through dance, storytelling, films and more. Thrill in the battles, romance and agonizing personal dilemmas. Don’t miss the highlights below.

See all Rama-related events...

Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Dance
Tour the world right here from the museum — each month, we visit the "Ramayana" through a different interactive dance performance. Watch the story unfold through Balinese, North Indian and Cambodian dance with Bay Area dance superstars.

Sun, Nov 6, 12-1 PM & 2-3 PM
Gamelan Sekar Jaya brings us Kecak (or "monkey chant"), a rhythmic, energetic form of dance and vocal percussion.

Sun, Dec 4, 12-1 PM & 2-3 PM
Chitresh Das Dance Company & Chhandam School of Kathak portray the abduction of Sita through Kathak, a classical dance using music, movement and mime to narrate stories.

Sun, Jan 8, 12-1 PM & 2-3 PM
Charya Burt will interpret the “Ramayana” through the classical and folk dances of Cambodia.

Family Fun Days
First and third Sundays*, Nov 6, 2016–Jan 15, 2017
10:30 AM–2:30 PM (stART Tour for kids ages 3–6: 10:30–11 AM; art-making and self-guided activities: 11 AM–2 PM)
Education Studios

The "Ramayana" comes to life through stories and creative art projects about heroes, sheroes, monkey kings and demons. All Family Fun Day art projects are developed and led by the museum's teen Art Speak interns.

*Target First Free Sundays — free admission on the first Sunday of every month and the family programs offered on that day — are made possible by Target. Due to capacity restrictions, admission is not guaranteed. On third Sundays, Family Fun Day is free with general museum admission.

Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe: A Symposium on the Rama Epic
Saturday, Nov 19
10 AM–1:45 PM
Samsung Hall
More Information & Tickets
Subject specialists Robert Goldman and Sally Goldman of UC Berkeley, Philip Lutgendorf of University of Iowa, Pika Ghosh of University of North Carolina and Asian Art Museum Wattis Senior Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art Forrest McGill will bring to life the four main characters and related stories through in-depth visual, cultural and literary discussions and presentations. 

Yakshagana Dance-Drama: A Vibrant Retelling of the Sita Apaharan (Abduction of Sita) Episode from the Ramayana
Wednesday, Nov 30
3–5 PM
Sibley Auditorium, UC Berkeley
Free to the public
Yakshagana (which literally means “Celestial Singing”) is a unique 800 year old theatrical folk practice from south India. It uses a unique technique of storytelling in which music, dancing, dialogue and costumes all play an equal role. The performance will be led by two professional Yakshagana artists Anantha Padmanabha Phatak and Kidiyuru Ganesh along with local Yakshagana artists from the Bay Area

Film Premiere of "Ramayana: The Great Epic of South & South-East Asia" with Director Benoy Behl
Saturday, Dec 3
2–4 PM
Samsung Hall
Free with general museum admission

Join us for the premiere of "Ramayana: The Great Epic of South & South-East Asia," written and directed by Benoy K. Behl. This documentary travels to India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal and Indonesia to tell the story of this great epic through multi-religious, international cultural performances. Generations of children have learned the vast story through incredibly diverse methods of performance and storytelling. View the film and stay to join the conversation with the director.

Forest Tales: An Eco-Cinema in Two Acts
Saturday, Dec 10 and Sunday, Dec 11
2–4 PM
Samsung Hall
Free with general museum admission
More Information
The “Ramayana” is a phoenix rising, a tale told and retold a thousand times, a tradition that is as much about storytelling as about the story itself. Originally imagined as a film, this project intended to extend the ethos of ecology into artistic practice by finding human-powered energy solutions (bicycle-powered, hand-cranked, etc.) for the production. However, since the most ecological film is one that never gets made, the project now exists as a performance of the “film.” Staged in two acts, Forest Tales is therefore not only the story of Sita, but also the story of cinema itself.

The museum has its own storytelling tradition — our cadre of 55 talented storytellers brings myths, legends and fables to life throughout the year with our spellbinding storytelling program.

This season, don’t miss the chance to get up close and personal with the suspenseful Rama epic, uniquely suited for captivating retellings. A 10-headed demon threatens the world. Can Prince Rama, with nothing but his bow and his band of monkey warriors, defeat this dark lord and win the freedom of Princess Sita? Find out during our Saturday program, Rama Stories.

Rama Stories
Saturdays, Oct 26, 2016–Jan 15, 2017
2–2:45 PM

Just can’t get enough? Our ongoing Sunday storytelling series, Stories! The Wicked, the Wily, the Wise, tells tales of heroic girls and boys, animal legends and dynamic deities. Join a storytelling tour and listen to riveting myths and tales from Asia.

Stories! The Wicked, the Wily, the Wise
1–1:45 PM

These programs are free with general museum admission. These events are suggested for ages 7 and up. But they aren’t just for kids — be sure to bring the whole family!