Saturday, 7 February 2015

Padma Subrahmanyam's tryst with Nagapattinam

This is Natyanjali rewind. A rewind from the coastal town of Nagapattinam.

It was here that senior Bharatanatyam dancer and guru Padma Subrahmanyam decided that the main temple in her hometown must also be the stage for the Natyanjali dances. The year is 2001.
Chidambaram had started the dances in a small way and was building on it. The effort had caught the imagination of dancers and rasikas.

So Padma spoke to a few well wishers in Nagapattinam, also the town that was badly hit by the tsunami a few years later and a Natyanjali was curated. At the Neelayadakshi Amman Temple.

Padma's nephew Kannan Balakrishan recalls that the first fest featured a few dancers, and Padma and her sishyas. It started at about 6 p.m. and ended a tad after midnight. Simple and a real anjali.

Since then the Nagapattinam anjali grew, slowly.

One man who gave it his all is Pannerselvam, who runs restaurants here. He was host, manager, co ordinator and volunteers leader. He still is.

Today, the Nagapattinam fest is taken care of by a committee. And to works well.

From here, Padma, her team and the well wishers have helped host similar festivals in temples in Thirunallar, Thiruvarur, Kumbakonam and in other temples in this part of Tamil Nadu. Suggesting artistes, co-ordinating travel, networking volunteers.

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