INDIA REJECTS RAMAYANA FROM FRANCE
She found it to be the unkindest cut of all. Nita Klein of France did. Le Ramayana, a dance presentation of the immortal epic of India, conceived, written and directed by her and produced in France, had been hijacked on the way to its arrival in India for the Annee de la France en Inde, that is, The Year of France in India, the festival which was inaugurated just last month. She and her colleagues wre at their wits' end in trying to get the production reinstated in the festival schedule. And then she met this senior Indian official—one Shri Arora (which one ?)—at a Paris reception and it was he who chose to deliver the coup de grace remarking rudely : "How dare you touch the Ramayana which is a way of life in India !" Klein swears to it How dare a mere foreigner! Forget that Indians have cheered Peter Brook for his theatrical adaptation of the Mahabharata ; or that they have voiced admiration for the late Jon Higgins for his accomplishments as a Carnatic music vocalist; or that the Government of India backed David Attenborough's film on Gandhi. Forget too that connoisseurs in the West have welcomed and praised the achievements of Zubin Mehta as a conductor of their classical music. Forget all these triumphs of inter-cultural understanding and communication, even if these latter be the purpose of all the cultural exchanges across national frontiers. How dare...But, to begin the story at the beginning...Klein's Le Ramayana was initially presented at Avignon in December 1985 and then performed in Paris at a small but packed theatre.