Ram Leela 2017


By Sudesh Pillutla & Sangeeta Pillutla

HOUSTON: Ram Leela comes early to Houston this year. Shri Sita Ram Foundation has been presenting this play twice a year for several years to promote our Vedic culture and moral values exemplified by Ram in Ramayana. This year the play is in the form of a Kuchipudi dance ballet which shall be presented at the Stafford Center on Cash Road on the July 15.

Sri Rama Katha Saram (Kuchipudi Dance Ballet)
On July 15, the stage at Stafford Civic Center will come alive with the characters from the beloved Ramayana. This story, authored by our revered rishi Valmiki, is a beacon for mankind on the principles of life and ideal living. While being entertaining, the Ramayana contains numerous lessons to be learnt and internalized. Valmiki weaves the plot around the young prince ‘Rama’, who, starting from a young age, is a paragon of virtue. With colorful human characters and a myriad of species, the Ramayana is the oldest and most retold epic. In every art form Rama Katha or Rama story is captivating and entertaining.

This time the story is being told, with much flourish, thru the classical Indian dance genre of Kuchipudi. The story-telling tradition is central to the Kuchipudi art form. Props, costumes, and various back drops have come customized from India to bring the essence of the culture to the shores of Texas. This extravaganza will have the central emotions of the human experience – love, jealousy, duty, and sorrow bringing tears and wild shouts of joy alternately. No story of Rama is ever complete without the Vanaras and their tremendous energy. Please come prepared to dodge the desire to join the Vanaras while they build Rama’s bridge or fight the Asuras in Lanka.


Kuchipudi dance is derived from Bharata Muni’s Natya Sastra. Legend has it that Sage Siddendra Yogi founded, codified and popularized this particular dance tradition and brought it to the small village of Kuchipudi in Andhra Pradesh for which the dance came to be named. Since then, the families hailing from the village of Kuchipudi, the families of Vedantam, Bhagavatula, Pasumarthi, Josyula, Vempati, Mahankali, Chinta and others have brought this classical art form to high international repute.

Guru Vedantam Raghava, a descendent of one of the original custodian families of this art has established the Vedantam Kalaskhetram School of dance in the Greater Houston area to impart the art to the students in the Houston area with the same rigor and tradition that has always been central to the art. Guru Raghava learnt this art from his father Vedantam Rattaih Sarma, uncle Pasumarthi Ramalinga Sastry and the legendary Vempati Chinna Satyam.  In addition to teaching the dance form, Vedantam Kalakshetram also produces highly professional Kuchipudi dance dramas in the Houston area and other cities in Texas. Over the last few years, the students of Vedantam Kalakshtram have brought Bhakta Prahlada, Chandalika, Bhama Kalapam and Kalyana Srinivasam dance dramas to Houston. This next dance drama, Rama Katha Saram, will be yet another wonderful treat for the Houston audience.

Sri Rama Jaya Niketan
The play this year is also a fund raiser. All proceeds from this play will go towards assisting Sri Rama Jaya Niketan, a 501 C (3) non profit organization to build a temple in the Katy area.

The mission of the Sri Rama Jaya Niketan is to provide a place of worship and be the spiritual resource center for the Hindu Community living in the Houston area in general and Katy in particular. Priest Sriman Hanuman Swamy of Sri Rama Jaya Niketan already provides all types of Vedic /religious Services for all the occasions to people living in the Greater Houston area. A temple will further enlarge these services.

Shri Sita Ram Foundation, USA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization engaged in several philanthropic activities directly and indirectly. It assists and provides modest funding to Cultural and Educational institutions promoting Vedic Culture. It also provides scholarships to under privileged students and assists disadvantaged persons of the community. The Foundation organizes and/or supports the following annual cultural events in the Greater Houston area: Ram Leela Play in a prominent Theater; the annual Diwali/Dussehra Festival at Skeeter’s Stadium in Sugar Land; the annual Rath Yatra in association with Orissa Culture Center, and Vedic lectures and activities throughout the year.

Shri Sita Ram Foundation in association with Sri Rama Jaya Niketan and the greater Houston Hindu community have come together to bring you this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience grand stage play in the timeless story-telling traditions of India.

The play shall be at Stafford center on Cash Road between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are VIP, $75.00, $50.00 and $25.00. All proceeds will go to establishment of a temple in Katy area. For more information, please go to www.ShriSitaRam.org or www.sriramajaya.org

For tickets, please contact Sharmila at 713-444-6167