Resides closely in the hearts of the classical dance lovers, the Natyanjali Dance. Every year around Mahashivratri, the Natyanjali dance festival in Tamil Nadu takes the lead and the city gets immersed in the dance of the Nataraja, lord of the dance. Dancers from all across India come together and as an offering to Lord Shiva, dance in the temple of Chidambaram.
Natyanjali Dance festival began in 1981 as an annual event , courtesy, Chidambaram Natyanjali Trust. With a blink of an eyelid, it has become one of the best dance festivals of India. Today, this festival is a house to more than 200 artists from all over the world to mesmerize you with their overflowing talent.
Natyanjali came into existence with a combination of two beautiful words, “Natya” meaning dance and “Anjali” meaning offering. Thus, the festival is an offering through Dance towards Nataraja, the Lord of Dance
The glorious temple of Chidambaram located in Tamil Nadu witnesses a divine event of the Natyanjali Dance that takes off during February or March every year. A grand dance festival like this is jointly organized by the Government of Tamil Nadu and its initiatives along with the Department of Tourism. The temple is home to beautifully carved pillars that depict all 108 poses of Bharatanatyam by Lord Nataraja.
Back in the History: One of the ancient sacred location that is allied when it comes to worshiping Lord Shiva is Chidambaram. Spiritual vibes are overflowing from the holy shrine of Nataraja. The entire temple is flooded with all 101 dance poses of Lord Nataraja and is praised for its beauty from all the corners of the world.
The connection between Mahashivratri and Natyanjali Dance festival:
Talking about the great Indian mythology, Nataraja is considered to be a cosmic dancer, therefore there cannot be a better time to celebrate the Natyanjali festival.
This dance festival is not just about Bharatnatyam
Bharatanatyam takes the lead at the Natyanjali dance festival because of it being the dance of Tamil Nadu and Lord Nataraja, the cosmic dancer. Kuchupudi, Mohini Attam, Kathak and a few more types of classical dances can be seen being performed by some of the leading dancers.
Mumbai’s Chembur, a not so hidden page in the books of Natyanjali Festival
Just like the Chidambaram temple in Tamil Nadu, the Thiruchembur Murugan temple, Mumbai,witnesses a 10-day long celebration of the Natyanjali Dance Festival. Again, Mahashivratri stands to be the time of this event. Reputed teachers and dancers from all across Mumbai and other parts of India come and perform their best at the festival.
There was a time when Natyanjali Dance festival in Mumbai used to be a 2-3 day affair. However, with the immense love and participation by renowned classical dancers, teachers from India and abroad, the festival is sometimes a little over 10-day programme too. Performers practice rigorously for months to showcase the best of the classical dance performances.
It’s going to be an enriching experience to at least witness this festival once in a lifetime. We are lucky to choose as per our convenience too between Mumbai and Tamil Nadu.
How can you participate in the dance festival?
For Tamil Nadu:
CHIDAMBARAM NATYANJALI TRUST
56/138, East Car Street, Chidambaram -608 001.
Tamil Nadu, India.
Cell: +91-94432 42732, +91-4144-222732
Annual Festival of Indian Classical Dances organized by Shanmukhapriya, For participation apply at below link:
For more interesting articles, follow our online magazine BananiVista. Do “Like” and “Follow” us on Facebook.