With the backdrop of a beautiful painting of Lord Shiva and the soaring gopuram of Sri Adikumbeswaraswamy Temple, Natyanjali 2011 organised by the Natyanjali Trust, commenced here on Wednesday.

The highlight of the evening was the ‘Nathalaya Bharatham’ by tavil vidwan Aridwaramangalam A.K. Palanivel. With his dextrous handling of the tavil on the one hand, accompanied by the nadaswaram, mridagam and flute on the other, three of his young students performed Bharatanatyam that captivated the audience.

The students performed ‘Natesa Kauthuvam’ and later danced to a composition by Dandayudapani Pillai which describes the Bharathanatyam form itself. A.K. Palanivel has choreographed the piece ‘ulagam pugazhum nattiya kalaiye-uyirai mathithu vazhnthiduvome’.

Yet another bewitching performance was the Odissi by Gajendra Panda and his disciples from Bhubaneshwar. The troupe’s dance on the Dashavataram of Lord Krishna brought the ten avatarams vividly in front of the audience.

Then came the enthralling Bharatanatyam performance by Lakshmi Gopalaswami of cine fame in which she captivated the audience.

Aaridwaramangalam Palanivel inaugurated the festival. G. Rangaswamy Moopanar, president of the Natyanjali Trust presided over the function. V.P. Dhananjayan, senior Bharatanatyam exponent said that the arts have to flourish for the welfare of the society. He said that the word Natyanjali was coined by him and was introduced at the Chidambaram temple fifty years ago.

N. Kamakoti, Executive Director of City Union Bank said that music united people by cutting across barriers of language, region, religion and caste. Musicians are one all over the world and fusion of music such as the tavil played by Mr. Palanivel and the tabla played by Zakir Hussain unite people as well as artistes.

S. Balasubramanian, Managing Director, City Union Bank participated in the function. K.N. Rajagopalan, Secretary of Natyanjali Trust, offered felicitations. The festival will continue till Sunday, 6 March.