Directed by Guru Bannanje Sanjeeva Suvarna
Devised & Performed by Vallari Kadekar


“When we reject a single story about a person and realise there’s never a single story we regain its true beauty.”

Ravana’s sister, Shoorpanakha, the brazen and deformed, demonic figure is a character from the epic of Ramayana whom we are accustomed to vilify and dislike. Society has always ridiculed her. We take her role in Ramayana so lightly, when in fact she is such a crucial character who has been sidelined through the rest of the epic. We have only heard about a single story of Shoorpanakha. Through this play, there is an effort to humanize her and make her real to people and not simply justify her. Hence we are looking at the character of Shoorpanakha through different dimensions. There were people with flaws and that’s the beauty of mythology. Every character has shades of grey and they make us think and question. This play is presented in a unique style using different techniques of Yakshagana and a tinge of classical forms like Odissi, Bharatanatyam, Koodiyattam, and Kalarippayattu.

The play is directed by the legendary Guru Bannanje Sanjeeva Suvarna. He has practiced and taught all aspects of the traditional form of Yakshagna and has directed over 25 ballets and more than 300 traditional Yakshagana performances. Suvarna continued the legacy of Dr Shivaram Karanth in innovating within Yakshagana without compromising on its finer artistic elements. He has been the Principal of Yakshagana Kendra Udupi for over two decades. Sanjeev Suvarna has been a choreographic director who has worked with notable theatre directors like B V Karanth, C R Jambe and others. He has conducted theatre workshop in LA MAMA Theatre in the US, along with famous theatre director Allen Stuart. He is also a resource person in India’s National School of Drama and Co-ordinator of numerous seminars. Being an empanelled ICCR artist, he has performed and conducted classes in over 40 countries.

Being a commerce and management graduate who worked for a reputed MNC, her passion for art made her quit the job. She is presently pursuing a PhD in Folklore (Yakshagana) from Manipal Academy of Higher Education. She has received training in Yakshagana from Guru Bannanje Sanjeeva Suvarna for fifteen years.  She has performed in various productions of Yakshagana across the country. She is also a trained Bharatanatyam and Odissi performer. She also has basic training in Kathak and contemporary dance forms. Being a literature lover, Shoorpanakha is her first self-written script. Writers like Vaidhehi, Hosthota Manjunath Bhagavath, and Ambathanaya Mudradi have guided her writing. This play was staged at the Bahuroopi National Theatre Festival of, Ranga Mane Theatre Festival and Mangaluru Theatre Festival.


Vocalist – Dinesh Bhat Yellapur
Violinist – Ravi Kumar Mysore
Maddhale – Krishnamurthy Bhat
Other Percussions – Shailesh Naik and Sumanth
Light design – Nithish Kotiyan
Backdrop assistance – Nishwal and Rohit