Sita recollects the episode of Rama trying to catch Maaricha disguised as the Golden Deer, a collaborative choreography of the dance genres of Indian classical dance – Bharatanatyam and Javanese classical dance. Featuring Kalakshetra alumni Vikas Parayalil from SIFAS, Singapore as Rama and Yuni Ratnasari from Indonesia as Sita.

This scene in the production Anjaneyam employs Black Light theatre style of stage setting, to enhance the audience experience of Sita’s recollection. The distinctive characteristics of “black theatre” are the use of black curtains, a darkened stage, and “black lighting” (UV light), paired with fluorescent costumes in order to create intricate visual illusions. This “black cabinet” technique was used by Georges Méliès, and by theatre revolutionary Konstantin Stanislavski (especially in his production of Cain). The technique, paired with the expressive artistry of dance, mime and acrobatics of the performers is able to create remarkable spectacles. A key principle of Black Light Theatre is the inability of the human eye to distinguish black objects from a black background. This effect results in effective invisibility for any objects not illuminated by the ‘black light’. The second optical principle behind Black Light Theatre is the effect of UV light on fluorescent objects. Black lights actually emit as much light as ‘normal’ lights, but at a frequency that humans cannot detect. While most objects either absorb UV light or reflect it back at the same frequency at which it came in, fluorescent objects absorb UV light then re-emit it at a longer wavelength that human eyes can detect. The combined effect is that designers can make some objects appear as bright as if the room were fully lighted, while making other objects appear as dark as if the room were completely dark.

3D Projection Mapping Set Design
by Himanshu Ghosh and his team from Knownsense studios

Light Design
by Gyan Dev Singh

Costume Design
by Mohanapriyan Thavarajah

Concept and Artistic Direction
by Aravinth Kumarasamy


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