The Metropolitan Museum of Art at New York City, popularly known at the Met, has continued its annual tradition of staging a presentation of the Indian epic, the Ramayana, popularly called Ram-Leela. The play is part of the festival of Diwali, and celebrations take place at the art theater which seats over 700.

This year's presentation on November 15 pulled in over 3500 viewers, with standing room only at the theater. NYC arranges the presentation of Ramayana (Ram-Leela) in its 708 seat state of the art theater as part of Diwali celebrations. The show was conducted and choreographed by the East-West School of Dance, under the guidance of director Narayan Charka. The play was funded by the The Multicultural Audience Development Initiative Advisory Committee at the Met Museum.

The protagonist and hero, Bharat, the prince and brother of Lord Rama was played by actor Tirlok Malik, who is known for his films featuring Indian-American migrant themes. Malik is a New York Emmy Award nominee, and said “It was an honor for me to play the part of Bharat at the prestigious Metropolitan Museum under the direction of Pt. S.N. Charka.” Malik is also the owner and founder of Nritv, a popular streaming site that features Indian American movies exclusively.

The Ramayana is a 24000-verse epic poem, penned by Sage Valmiki, and according to historian William Jones, was composed around 2029 BC. Many versions of the Ramayana exist today, including those told in the perspective of the antagonist Ravana and Rama's wife Sita. Translated into several languages, the most popular versions include Tulsidas' Hindi version of Hanuman Chalisa (mp3), his Ramcharitamanas and Kamban's Tamil version of the Ramayana.