Pandemic restricts Shivaratri-time dance fests in TN

The pandemic times have restricted the celebration of the annual dance festivals across Tamil Nadu held as anjali at the time of Shivaratri (March 11). But across Tamil Nadu, a few temples are hosting dances all through Shivaratri night.

No major events are taking place in Chennai's temples; a few arts bodies have recorded dance recitals, some themed and are beaming it out online.

A handful are hosting a relay of snappy dance recitals like Sheela Unnikrishnan's Sridevi Nrityalaya with Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha in Chennai at Vani Mahal. A dozen dance groups will perform and the recitals web-streamed online on the YouTube channel of Sridevi Nrityalaya.

Also, check out for curated events on the channels of Narthaki, RASA and Kalapradarshini (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCidiqfe4SJhh1_skfLGWbRg)

In Chidambaram, the festival held over recent years by a group of Dikshitar priests inside the Nataraja Temple's eastern yard stands cancelled.

But Natyanjali Trust, a private body which holds its dance fest outside the temple in this town, in a private space is hosting a fest this year - from March 10 to 14, with troupes from across India performing here. These will be held daly for limited hours in the evening. (No information yet if the recitals will be beamed live.)

In Thanjavur, the major fest annually held at the World Heritage site of Sri Brihadeeswarar Temple dance concerts are planned only for March 11, for a few hours from 6 p.m.

Fests that used to be held in smaller temples across the district are not scheduled, with hosts saying official state permission has not reached them yet.

But the string of dance offerings organised by guru Padma Subrahmanyam and her team in Nagapattinam and in that zone are being held but on a limited scale, said Kannan Balakrishnan who has curated the events.

So in the Nagapattinam temple, recitals are from March 10 to 12. In Thirunallar temple, March 10 to 12, in Thiruveezhimizhalai, only on March 11 and the same (only on one day) in Thiruthuraipoondi, with some artistes hopping from one temple to another.

The fest hosted in Thiruvidaimarudur is only on one day - March 11 (watch it on http://marudhanatyanjali.com/)

Out in Pondicherry, the Natiyanjali group is hosting a fest from March 10 to 14 at the Guru Siddhananda Swami Devasthanam., Puducherry.