Curtains came down on the seven-day Brahannatyanjali, dance obeisance to Lord Brihadisvarat, at the Big Temple, Thanjavur, with a scintillating Kathak dance by Moulana Nayak and group from New Delhi. It was a visual feast when the troupe members dressed in lehenga-choli (lehenga is a loose ankle length silk skirt and choli - short sleeved tight blouse), the traditional dress of Kathak, performed near the Nandhi Mandapam. With the Sunday being a holiday hundreds watched the programme. The troupe started with ‘Sambo Maheswara' on Lord Siva. During spins, which are characteristics of the dance form, lehengas flared out dramatically. Nimble fingers of the artistes quickly changed abhinayas. Umpteen ankle bells in the legs provided the jingle music. The troupe also danced to depict the ‘Arthanareeswara' form of Lord Siva that is half man and half woman.

"They came specifically from New Delhi to dance in the Brahannatyanjali," said V.Varadarajan, president, Brahannatyanjali foundation and S.Muthukumar, secretary of the foundation.

Kathak originated in Uttar Pradesh. Its origins could be traced to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India known as Kathakas - story tellers. Since 16th century, the art form absorbed certain features of Persian dance and Central Asian dance which were imported by the royal courts of Mughal era.

Other performances on Sunday at the Brahannatyanjli included Kuchipudi dance by Balananda Sangam of Hyderabad for which M.Badrinath is the guru. They presented Dasavatara Ashtapathi. Rechita Nruthyalayam from Chennai presented Ananda Kuoothan, a dance drama. "Nearly 300 artistes performed at Brahannatyanjali in this year," said Mr.Varadarajan. Members of the Brahannatyanjali foundation and sponsors for the programmes were honoured.

"We thank Archaeological Survey of India for permitting to conduct the Brahannatyanjali in this world monument. We also thank HR ad CE, tourism and culture departments of the State government, and Palace devasthanam," Mr.Varadarajan said.