The ten-day Panguni Peruvizha and Vidyaatri festival commenced on Friday at the Kapaleeswarar Kovil with a dance performance by Bengaluru-based Abhinava Dance Company. The event was presided over by P S Sachu, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram, who inaugurated the festival. Other special guests at the function included renowned city-based gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Kamala Selvaraj.
The music and dance programmes for the Kapaleeswarar Temple’s Panguni Peruvizha and Vidayaatri festival have been sponsored by Preetha Reddy and P Vijaykumar Reddy in memory of P Gnanamba and Obul Reddy (parents of P Vijaykumar Reddy).
Beginning with a Shiva Stuthi, Nirupama and Rajendra, who have been performing together for the last 25 years enthralled audience that included devotees at the temple, who joined the enraptured crowd that began streaming in. Moving on to chaturang (the combination of four elements – sangeet, nritya, tarana bol and sahitya), the group dance piece by Abhinava, set to tune in raag Khamaj was a stupendous presentation. The vibrant colours of the costumes and the energy were consistent in the following performances that included Shringara Rama — an excerpt from Ramcharitmanas by Saint Tulsidas that explored the human side of the lord and his love for Sita. The depiction of restrained and dignified love by Rama was contrasted with the more-explicit love of another incarnation of Vishnu— Raas Leela of Lord Krishna who danced with his beloved Radha and gopikas on the banks of the Yamuna.
Befittingly, as the mercury soars in the city with every passing day, the group also appealed to the rain God to bless Chennai with much-needed showers. Varsha, was an astounding group rendition of the joy that is synonymous with rain.
Talking to City Express about the performance, Nirupama said that performing in Chennai was always special, and that the group was glad that the organisers thought about bringing kathak to the audience at the temple.
Vijaykumar Reddy, Thakkar, Kapaleeswarar Temple, said that the ten-day festival will showcase performances of both music and dance. “We are having a host of performances by renowned artistes. Performing the arts is an important part of the temple’s activities and we are looking at having some remarkable performances here,” he said.