February 25, 2012

Natyanjali 2012

This is that time of the year when my KutcheriBuzz team parks itself at Chidambaram and works out of there.
Besides the December season, it is the annual Natyanjal Dance Fests that we cover very closely.
Our effort to cover the classical dancers' community is stretched at the Natyanjali.

To keep our coverage rolling, we chose to work on a Blog (www.natyanjalidancefestival.blogspot.com). In a networked world, communicating fast is key.

This morning, Vasu Iyengar and Purva Dhanasree from New Delhi offered their anjali at the sannidhi of Lord Nataraja as did many dancers every morning and evening the past five days. These pictures will also be blogged.

A temple like this one in Chidambaram throbs with a variety of rituals, events and gatherings.
This morning, we witnessed the start of a huge rudra homam just outside the sannidhi. Offering the homan was a young Korean who studies Sanskrit and Astronomy at Madurai Kamaraj University. Joining him was his wife, in a classic Conjeevaram sari and two other Korean friends.
It was a special experience - dance on one side, a yagna on the other.

This is also the time of the year when local schools conduct their annual picnic for students.
On East Sannidhi Street, where we are based, we find streams of school groups being led into the temple.
Yesterday, a group from St. Anthony's in Nagapattinam went on a shopping spree after touring the temple.

The rows of hawkers selling Rubik Cubes and toy horses, hair pins and framed pictures of Lord Shiva made a killing. Every student had something to take home. A boy bought a fancy hair-pin for his sister while a girl bought a doctor's toy set for his baby brother back home. The one day picnic will take these students to Pitchavaram, Poompuhar and Tharangabadi ( Tranquebar ). What a trip it must be!

Dancers streaming into the eastern yard for the Natyanjali. Schoolchildren filing out on a picnic jaunt.
Imagine the scene!

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