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
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
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
Research: Prof. VENKATAKRISHNAN & PADMA VEERARAGHAVAN.