Ballet on Saivite shrines
Tamil Isai Sangam, Pollachi, conducted a dance festival to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
VIVID DEPICTION: Easwara Darisanam. Photo: M. Balaji
The the Pollachi Tamizh Isai sangam organised its twentieth dance festival by inviting renowned troupes to perform Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Perini nritya and Mohiniyattom at Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam, Pollachi. Padmini Dorairajan, renowned dancer and dance guru was awarded the title `Bharathakalai Sudar' on the first day.
`Ishwara Darisanam', a dance drama presented by Bharatham School of Dance, focused on the seven important saiva kshetras viz., Chidambaram, Rameswaram, Thirumayilai, Srikaalahasthi, Thiruvannamalai, Tirukadaiyur and Thiruvaalankaadu.
The related stories were narrated before the presentation of each kshetra, enabling the spectators to understand and appreciate the performance.
The episode of the Bhikshadana at Darukavana was presented beautifully, with the dance of Vishnu as Mohini, the egoistic rage of the rishis and their change of heart ending with the blissful dance of Lord Siva.
The religious link
While presenting Rameswaram they enacted the story of Rama worshipping the lingam, created out of sand by Sita as Hanuman did not bring the lingam from Kailasa on time. Hanuman was furious when he saw this and tried to remove the sand-linga, which he could not move. His pride took a beating and he became humble once again. Then Rama performed puja for the lingam brought by Hanuman also. Even today, both the lingas are worshipped at Rameswaram and the Lord is known as Ramanatha.
Rahij Ramcharan who played Hanuman gave an effective performance and his footwork as well as abhinaya were impressive.
Srikalahasthi had two popular episodes. One about Thinnnappan, whose sacrifice earned him the more famous name Kannappan. The other one was about a spider that wove a temple for Siva which was burnt by the flare of the lamp. The heartbroken spider fell into the flames and gave up its life and was given salvation by the Lord.
An elephant and a serpent vied with each other to worship the lord and one day fought vigorously, killing each other. They also attained salvation. `Sri' means a spider, `Kaala' means a snake and `Hasthi' means an elephant and hence the place is known as `Sri Kalahasthi'.
The last kshetra, Thiruvaalankadu was portrayed very impressively. Lord Siva decides to subdue Goddess Kali whose fury does not abate even after destroying the demons. The Goddess challenges him to dance with her and after a marathon session Siva wins by performing Oordhwa Thandava. The programme came to an end with the `Ananda Thandava of Kali and Siva.
Preethi Ramachandran as Siva danced with energy and grace, while the girl who did the role of Kali, with her large and eloquent eyes, presented herself as the embodiment of feminine grace and fury.
All the participants did their roles well and it was a successful teamwork. Guru Himaja Ramcharan deserves accolades for her excellent training and effective nattuvangam.
The meaningful songs narrating the episodes were written by Sundaresan and sung by Harini.
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu