October 28 – Rajendra Laxmi

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Rajendra Laxmi is written by Namrata K.C., Som Nath Khanal and Samyog Guragain

Directed by Namrata K.C. ¦ Produced by The Aesthetic Dance Studio, Kathmandu
Language: Nepali ¦ Duration: 65 minutes ¦ Suitable for 8 years and older 

Synopsis
‘Rajendra Laxmi’ is a dance drama (with Kathak dance as baseline narrative) based on the real-life events of Rajendra Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah and tries to explore it with different perspective than before. Rajendra Rajya Lakshmi Devi was the first queen regent of the then royal kingdom of Nepal. During the eight years of her regency, she contributed to the unification of modern Nepal, a process begun by Prithvi Narayan Shah.
Born as a princess in Palpa, she got married to Pratap Singh Shah, the elder son of Prithvi Narayan Shah. After the death of his father, Pratap Singh Shah became the king of Nepal. The couple had a son called Rana Bahadur Shah. Rana Bahadur Shah was still a baby of two and half years when Pratap Singh Shah died at the age of 26. So, Rajendra Laxmi began to rule in the name of Rana Bahadur Shah, as regent.
This is her story.

Actors/Dancers: Nishma Ghimire ¦ Namrata KC ¦ Riga Ghimire ¦ Manisha Basnet ¦ Kunti Simali ¦ Nisha Karki ¦ Pawan Pathak ¦ Ritu Darshandhari

Live Musicians: Utsav Kumar Budhathoki ¦ Ashesh Rai ¦ Samyak Maharjan

Costumes: Bishnu Chaudhary ¦ Set Design: Rajan Khatiwada ¦ Set Construction: Barat Limboo and Chakra Bist ¦ Stage Props: Johnen Kshetri ¦Light Design: Umesh Tamang
Light Operator: Ranjana Oli ¦ Posters & Brochures: Umesh Chaudhary and Yumisha Niraula ¦ Backstage Supporters: Kabiraj Rai, Sarita Dhungana and Sabin Ghalan
Stage Manager: Bikash Budhathoki ¦ Script and Lyrics: Namrata KC, Som Nath Khanal and Samyog Guragain ¦ Dramaturg: Sijan Dahal ¦ Production Manager: Bikash Budhathoki ¦ Theatrical Producer: Som Nath Khanal

About the Director: Namrata K.C. is a well-known Katthak dancer and choreographer in Nepal. She has been working as a dancer in Nepal and India since 2006. She completed her Masters in Performing Arts from the University of Lucknow. Her passion is to collaborate with other art forms and to work for quality education of dance in Nepa She is a disciple of Dr. Akanksha Srivastava, an eminent Kathak performer/teacher in India. Namrata has directed 3 dance dramas in Nepal and has performed in Nepal, India and Bangladesh. Her directiorial credits are Swan Lake (2014), Jyanmaya (2016) and Rajendra Laxmi (2018). She has participated in ‘Play Making Workshop for Young Nepali Theatre Directors’ held in Kathmandu in 2017 under theatre director Bimal Subedi, an alumnus of National School of Drama, New Delhi.

Why this play?
Usually, all over the world, history is told by the winner or the powerful. In Nepal as well, history is written by and promoted from the perspective of a male-dominant power system. The story of Rajendra Laxmi used to be taught in schools of Nepal but the story was written by male historians. They tried to relegate her life-struggle in 3 or 4 paragraphs, without even giving respect to her courage and foresight as a ruler.

About the Company: Aesthetic Dance Studio is a growing dance institute in Kathmandu. The company was established by expert dance facilitators and teachers with aim to promote various dance forms from all over the world in (and with) a Nepali narrative. The company already has successfully accomplished its ambitious dance project Katthakanksha in July 2016 and Katthakanksha 2 in February 2018. The first project was supported by BP Koirala India Nepal Foundation and was successful in running a 35-hour course in Katthak dance with a grand production. The second project was self-funded by Aesthetic Dance Studio. Both the programs were helmed by Namrata KC, the director of Rajendra Laxmi. The Kathmandu-based Institute of Aesthetic Dance Studio is open as a classroom and as a laboratory for dance skills and practices in Anamnagar, Kathmandu.