Story of the Madurai Queen
CRISP: `Sri Meenakshi Kalyanam.' Photo: M. Balaji.
Pandanallur Natyalaya, Udumalpet, presented their dance-drama `Sri Meenakshi Kalyanam,' at Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam, Pollachi, under the auspices of Pollachi Thamizhisai Sangam. The troupe commenced the programme with Ganapathi Kauthuvam, in Nattai, bringing out the significance of the form of the elephant-faced Lord, the broad ears for listening more, the narrow eyes for keen observation, the long flexible trunk for reaching out, and the concealed mouth conveying that talk should be minimal.
`Shanmukha Kauthuvam' in Shanmukhapriya followed portraying the valour of Lord Muruga. Alarippu in Bhimplas and Jatiswaram in Saraswathi followed briskly. Sneha Sridhar performed the varnam for `Sakhiye' in Anandabhairavi effectively bringing out the longing of the nayika for Lord Rajagopala, with appropriate abhinaya and jathis.
The last item was `Meenakshi Kalyanam,' composed by Puthaneri Subramanyam, set to music by Pandanallur Srinivasan and choreographed by Pandanallur Pandian. Meenakshi comes out of the holy fire while Uthamapandian performs a sacrifice desiring an offspring. Meenakshi grows into a beauty and learns all that is needed for a girl and a queen. When she comes of age, her father crowns her and Meenakshi rules efficiently. The parents are worried about her marriage. During her digvijayam, she encounters Lord Siva and feels shy for the first time.
Siva also falls in love with her and the wedding is performed with the usual rituals and grandeur. This story was presented beautifully by the girls Sneha Sridhar, Diksha Purushothaman, R. Nivedha, S. Vividhya, G. Sri Gowri, S. Rashmi, G. Abinaya, K. Abinaya, J. Renuka Devi and V. Swathika, Sneha as Meenakshi and G. Abhinaya as Siva were impressive. Pandanallur Pandian's nattuvangam was crisp while the orchestra consisting of Gomathinayakam (vocal), Mayavaram T. Viswanathan (mridangam), and Veeramani (violin) gave able support to the performance. Murugan's make up was neat and impressive.
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