By 5.30 p.m. on Tuesday, there wasn’t an inch of space at the atrium in Citicentre. Shoppers crowded in, and from every floor an enthralled audience watched, as around 75 Bharatanatyam dancers performed.

The flash mob, organised by the Association of Bharatanatyam Artists of India, was performed to mark International Dance Day on Tuesday.

“We want classical dance to reach more people. We want to de-mystify it and share its celebration,” said Chitra Visweswaran, president of the Association, minutes before she was swept into a swirl of colour and motion.

School- and college-going dance students whirled alongside senior artistes, and as the music swelled and ebbed, the group gracefully broke into smaller circles, each performing individually and yet in perfect harmony.

“It was super fun,” said V. R. Deepalakshmi, a 17-year-old student at a dance school in the city.

The students had watched videos of the dance to be performed and had practised by themselves. On Tuesday afternoon, the entire group rehearsed as one for the first time for an hour, before arriving at Citicentre.

Amongst the audience, the cameras would not stop clicking. As shoppers pressed in for a better view, the dancers dexterously moved aside, without a pause or a missed step.

Towards the end, the audience was called in to join the performance and people with bags on their arms and artistes with years of experience joined hands as the crowd cheered and the music soared.

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