Thursday, 28 February 2013

Students, artistes from Jaffna will be here

A team of 10 Bharatanatyam dance students and artistes from Jaffna in north Sri Lanka are planning to  perform at the Natyanjali festivals at Nagapattinam and Thirunallar this season.

Leading them is young Arul Selvi who is now doing her research in dance under Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam.

Padma was keen to have the dancers at the Natyanjali so that they got a different exposure here.

Festivals at Nagapattinam, Thirunallar

Dancer and guru Dr Padma Subrahmanyam and her team are co-ordinating the Natyanjali at two temples. At Nagapattinam and at Thirunallar, both famed shrines for the Hindus.

While Padma's team in Chennai schedules the dance recitals that start on Sivaratri evening at both venues, they co-ordinate with local volunteers to prepare the venues.

This year, dancers from different parts of the country are scheduled to perform here, says veena artiste B Kannan, Padma's relative.

Padma has been one of the few artistes who has been encouraging dance recitals at temple campuses.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Funds is an issue here . . .

The Natyanjali may be an offering to the Lord. But staging the fest calls for a a decent sum of money.
And in Chidambaram, since the Fest is managed by a close-knit Trust raising monies is a tough call.

These are not the best days for fund raising.

And this year, the Sangeet Natak Akademi which has been generous in delegating artistes from across the country to perform here has thrown up its hands this time around due to funds crunch. So you will not get to watch the best Chau and the Kathak dancers.

However, Trust secretary Sambandam says that the fest will present dancers from the north and east of the country who are here on their own.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Create a nice holiday on way to Chidambaram

For all those who wish to be at the Natyanjali in Chidambaram and will be travelling to this part of south India for the first time, here is a nice tour that you can plan right away.

We assume you will be touching Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu.
Take a state-run bus to Mammallapuram (Mahabalipuram) down the scenic East Coast Road (ECR). A World Heritage Site for the unique rock-cut monuments of the Pallvas, located close to the sea this place calls for at least 3 hours of walking around and this is not going to be easy because it will be hot at daytime.

There are some nice little restaurants here to cool off before you catch a bus to the once-French ruled town of Pondicherry - some 105 kms away. Buses to Pondy are frequent and run non-stop.
Locate yourself in the French/Tamil old quarter of Pondy when you get there. An overnight stay will give you enough time to soak in this unique place, its architecture, heritage and landmarks.

Once you have had the best of Pondy, take a bus to Chidambaram. Takes about 90minutes to your destination.

In Chidambaram, make time to take a bus to Pitchavaram - a rare mangrove forest spread across miles and miles of the inner sea which can be seen by boat provided for a fee by the Tamil Nadu Tourism office here ( A local bus takes 40minutes to this place). Best done in mornings.

Artistes from abroad . . .

This may not the best time of the year for artistes from abroad to fly in to perform here. But when it comes to the Natyanjali many keep a date they have longed for, for years.

Some years ago, we remember a big group of some 15 young dancers, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils from Australia crowding back stage and then setting the stage on fire with their effervescent recital.

This year, there are classical dancers from USA, Dubai and Sri Lanka who have confirmed travelling to Chidambaram for the Natyanjali.

Now if you are a classical dancer who will be performing here, do mail us a note on your plans and expectations even as you and your team prepare for this journey. Mail to -

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Welcome to Natyanjali 2013!

In the performing arts world, festivals chase you. Or, you chase them.
And for us at KutcheriBuzz, keen to report on whatever we can in this world, there is a lot to do.

The Natyanjali Dance Festivals is one of our favourites. And for some very strong reasons.

Many years ago, we went to Chidambaram to take a peek at the Fest and still recall the evenings spent sitting in the sand and yards away from the built-up stage, watching the performances over just two evenings.

Quickly, we started to report the Fest all through.

We liked this event because it did not promote exclusivity and because the bonding between the hosts, artistes and rasikas and pilgrims to this great temple is warm.

Over recent times, the Fest has got bigger in that dancers from the far ends of our country and from abroad perform here.

Also, sister Natyanjalis have taken the cue from Chidambaram and got bigger and better. Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur. . .now host the dance anjalis.

So this year, from March 10, Sivaratri evening onwards dancers will make their offerings to the lord of dance.

And we at KutcheriBuzz will keep you posted on the preview buzz. If you have queries, mail us at