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Naachiyar - mystic search for the divine - Credits
Dance Theatre Productions
75 mins, 2000

Performed by Anita Ratnam & Arangham Dance Theatre, Chennai.
Also featuring Stage & Television Artiste REVATHY SANKKARAN

A 75 minute Bharatanatyam and Theatre presentation, "NACHIYAAR" offers interesting cameos of the 9th century female mystic ANDAL, who is considered one of the 12 Alwars (Vaishnava Saint-Poets). The Alwars along with the Saiva Nayanmars revived the concept of music and bhakti in Hinduism.

NACHIYAAR was the name in ancient Tamil given to ANDAL who is also referred to as Kodhai. Believed to be an 'avatar' of Goddess Lakshmi, legend has it that she was discovered in a "thulasi" bush by the head priest at Srivilliputhur (a temple town near Madurai) and grew up with a passionate devotion to Lord Vishnu.

Her music with simple lyrics and intense faith, drew from astonishingly mature images of love, sexual longing and devotion. Her 30 TIRUPPAVAI songs are traditionally sung and played every day over the airwaves throughout Tamilnadu during this lunar month of MARGAZHI. At the age of 16, Nachiyaar's dramatic "marriage" to Lord Vishnu and disappearance on the banks of the river Cauvery, also add to her mystery and eternal fascination which continues over the centuries in the minds of all those who read and sing her compositions.

This dance theatre presentation concentrates on Nachiyaar's later poems of mature love and longing instead of her very popular Thiruppavai songs, which have a more than innocent tone. Using the dual imagery of body and soul, actress Revathy Sankkaran plays the role of the foster mother and "voice" of Nachiyaar. Revathy brings a natural theatricality as a stage contrast of the formulation and rhythmic frame work of Bharatanatyam.

Temple rituals of carrying the 'Lord' in procession and rare devotional songs from Thirukurungudi shrine never heard outside temple walls have been included in this production. The score has been specially composed by noted musician OS ARUN.

DURATION: 75 MINUTES

STYLE: BHARATANATYAM, FOLK, CONTEMPORARY & STORY TELLING

MUSIC: LIVE (5 member orchestra)

NO: OF PERFORMERS: 9

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE: 1

STAGE MANAGER: 1

TOTAL TEAM NO: 16

LIGHTING PLAN: AVAILABLE ON REQUEST


CREDITS:

Concept & Choreography: ANITA RATNAM

Nachiyar/Andal: ANITA RATNAM

Foster Mother: REVATHY SANKKARAN

Dancers: AARTI M BODANI, L. NARENDRA, YAGNA PRABHA GUHENDRAN, MADHUSOODANAN, LATA CHANDRASEKAR, VIDYA PRABHA

Andal's Costume & Screen: V.V RAMANI & HEMA RAMANI

Ensemble Costumes: ANITA RATNAM

Bridal Screen, Courtesy: Pangea World Theatre, Minneapolis, USA

Orchestra: L SUBHASREE (Nattuvangam), R SHOBANA (Vocal), MK KESAVAN (Mridangist), MUTHUKUMAR (Flautist) & KAILASA KAMBAR, traditional artiste from Thirukurungudi (Conch & "Chinnam" - Double Clarinet)

Music: OS ARUN

Stage Design, Lighting & Dramaturg: M. NATESH

Make-up: SETHUMADHAVAN

Research: Prof. VENKATAKRISHNAN & PADMA VEERARAGHAVAN.