For dance aficionados, a stroll down the maze of streets in Mylapore would have inevitably drawn them to the colourful hues of the Vana Mayil Attam, a musical rendition that recreated the sights and sounds of the heart of the city to pay an ode to its rich heritage on Friday evening.
Young danseuses at their expressive best presented a visual treat amidst captivating music and surreal settings at Kapaleeshwarar Temple. With snapshots of the diverse cultures forming the essence of the musical, the narrative by dancer S Dharini seamlessly blended in with the drama, vividly capturing the story of Mylapore from its inception to its present day avatar.
In an elegant way, the talented students showed with their nuanced abhinayas how various experts such as acharyas (teachers), hawkers, blacksmiths and potters became a part and parcel of this cultural hub. The stage lighting and intricately designed costumes added to the richness of their performance.
Choreographed by Revathi Ramachandran, the performance with streaks of creativity won well deserved credit for its aesthetic production.
Drawing inspiration from Bharathiyar’s poem Thozhil that traced the significant contribution of different professionals to the society was the first step in conceptualising the theme. “I came across the beautiful poem which glorified the beauty of each thozhil. It was a perfect inspiration,” explains the dance maestro while sharing the story behind the creation of Vana Mayil.
Giving an opportunity to dedicated singers and dancers to prove their mettle on stage, volunteers were invited for auditioning as early as the first week of December. Soon, a team of enthusiastic youngsters was selected to record the theme song Ezhil Pozhil Thozhil Vana Mayil, synonymous with the beautiful facets of the diverse working communities inhabiting Mylapore. And following a month of rigorous practice, the 28-member troupe scripted success with their musical mélange.
It was an unforgettable experience, reminisces Revathi. “It was a really wonderful way to express my love for Mylapore where I‘ve been living for the past four decades,” she said. The four-day cultural extravaganza that was part of the Mylapore Festival celebrations began on January 5 and came to a colourful close on Sunday evening.