I think a professional bharatanatyam performance could not have had a better place and ambience than the landscaped lawns of the Seashore Temple of Mamallapuram, a world heritage site. My visit to the shore temple a few days ago in the golden hours of the evening was extended by a delightful treat to the soul and senses from Saroja Vaidyanathan’s dance team. Smt. Saroja is a winner of prestigious kalaimamani award from the state govt of Tamil Nadu and Padmashree from Govt. of India and her talent was evident from the moment her dance team appeared on stage in dazzling orange and gold costumes and ornaments. The short and sweet hour long performance that started at 6 pm included beautifully choreographed pieces on the legend of Mahishasura Mardini and a collection of 40 Mudras of Lord Shiva from Natya Shastra (Treatise of Dance). There were about five dances in all and each piece was given a short introduction by Smt Saroja. The team of seven dancers – two male and five females – put up a lovely and captivating show. At the end, the dancers themselves were introduced to the audience by the maestro. There was applause for every dance piece and at the end of the show for each individual dancers who belonged to various North and South Indian states of India and one Russian female dancer. The performance was well accentuated by excellent sound and light system.
The program is part of a month long dance festival started on 26th December 2011 and is open to all. There were hundreds of people in attendance at the program, mostly Indian and foreign tourists. Tamil Nadu Tourism Department organises the festival annually.