Photo of the Day
Todays photo is inspired by Amit madheshiya’s photo essay on travelling tent cinemas, http://amitmadheshiya.photoshelter.com/gallery/Traveling-Tent-Cinemas-of-India/G0000IPeBCO5b2vA
this photo was taken in Samaguri sattra in Majuli Island hours before the annual Ras Leela Festival. this is a vaishnavite community, and every year they tell the life story of krishna in a musical dance drama called the ras leela. there are atleast 5-8 shows happening by different groups of people all over majuli. we came to this one as some of the finest performance masks are made here.
the samaguri sattra is the only sattra in majuli which doesnt charge tickets for the ras leela.a couple of years back this was an open air space. a few thousand people used to come and watch. then somebody donated lots of money to the sattra to do up the space. thats when they built a giant box around the stage to make an audi of sorts. which also means that only about 500 people can see it now, and the rest have to stand outside and peek in through the windows.
there are multiple entry points to the stage from the two tiny wings and the sides. the back of the stage is completely open to bring in the props and full body masks that can be more than 12-15 feet in length or height. the floor is soft packed mud mixed with clay. the lighting console can be seen up in front. the live band performs on stage and then moves to the wings. the entire stage faces the main temple.