To commemorate the millennium of the Big Temple here, a dance programme with 1,000 artistes at a time will be held at the temple premises on September 25.
Jointly organised by the Association of Bharatanatyam Artistes of India (ABHAI) and Brahan Natyanjali foundation of Thanjavur, the event will be the obeisance paid to Lord Brihadiswara on the 1000th year of completion of the construction of Big Temple.
Briefing presspersons, Padma Subramanyam, president, ABHAI, and V. Varadarajan, president, Brahan Natyanjali Foundation, said that the temple, an architectural marvel and a world heritage monument declared by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), was built between 1004 and 1010 by the Great King Raja Raja Cholan. To mark the occasion, Tamil Nadu Government would release a coin and a stamp. ABHAI and Brahan Natyanjali Foundation thought it fit to celebrate the occasion with a special programme.
The temple had an epigraph stating that King Raja Raja Cholan paid obeisance to Lord Brihadisvara through dance artists. It was said in the epigraph that 400 artistes were selected by the king. They were given food, shelter and clothes and honoured with gold coins. They performed dance and paid their obeisance to Lord Siva three times a day at the temple every day. Taking cue from this, ABHAI and Brahan Natyanjali Foundation would organise a massive dance programme on September 25 in the temple with 1,000 artists.
Record of sorts
“It will be our aradhana to Lord Brihadisvara. I don't' think that such a programme with 1,000 artists was conducted in the past. It will be a record of sorts also and may enter Guinness record book. But then, we are not doing it for the Guinness record. It will be our aradhana to Him. The dancers, through Bhratanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Bhagavatga Mela, etc will perform to Karuvurar song in praise of the Big Temple. We will record the song and tune and send to the selected artistes to practice before they come for the performance. They will stand around the Big Nandhi and till the entrance of the temple and perform the dance programme,” Dr. Subramanyam said.
Interested artists can contact Priya Murali, Secretary of ABHAI on phone number 044 24994751 or e-mail email@example.com or S. Muthukumar, secretary, Brahan Natyanjali foundation, on 98424 55765 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to take part in the programme.
"Big temple vimana has the Karna sculptures of Bharatha Natyam. I did research on them. I am a regular visitor to the temple. It's magnificence cannot be explained in words. We have to celebrate it, protect and preserve it. It is our temple. With this feeling, elated over the 1000the year celebrations, we are offering our prayer to the Lord humbly in the form of dance," said Dr. Subramanyam. Priya Murali, secretary of ABHAI, Roja Kannan, Executive committee member, S. Natarajan, president of Bhagavata Mela Natya Nataka Sangam, Melattur and S.Rajendran of INTACH were present.