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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Vakulabaranam ~ thematic dance by Zakir Hussain

" ஈசன் ஞாலமுண்டுமிழ்ந்த எந்தை யேகமூர்த்திக்கே" ~ என   ஸர்வேச்வரானாயும், ஜகத்துக்கு ஸர்வப்ரகார ரக்ஷகனாயும், அந்தத் தன்மையினால் என்னையீடுபடுத்திக் கொண்டவனாயும் அத்விதீயமான திருமேனியையுடையவனாயுமிருக்கிற எம்பெருமான் திருவுள்ளம் பற்றுவதே!  என நமக்கு உபதேசித்த அற்புத ஆசார்யர் ஆழ்வார் ஸ்வாமி நம்மாழ்வார்.

Of the Nava Thirupathi divyadesams, ThirukKurugoor is hailed as“AzhwarThirunagari”-  as this is the Avatharasthalam of  Swami Nammalwar.   Madura Kavigal saw the leading light from Thiru Ayodhya, travelled all the way to Kurugoor, identified  Nammazhwar in the Puliyamaram [tamarind tree]. 

The Greatest among Alwars preached to us – “ ஒழிவில் காலமெல்லாம் உடனாய் மன்னி ,வழுவிலா அடிமை செய்ய வேண்டும்நாம்,” – that when we do kainkaryam to Lord (to Him at Thiruvenkadam), we must do service by being with HIM throughout our life and do as a slave would serve his master.  Azhwar also guided us that we should do kainkaryam to Him in our youth, when we have strength itself ….  கிளரொளி இளமை கெடுவதன் முன்னம்

These and more reverberated  at ‘Sivagami Pethachi auditorium’ at MCTM School Campus ~ it was a nice lecture on Swami Nammalwar’s prabandha anubhavams and  .. .. .. more in the program titled ‘Vakulabaranam’.   A web search reveals that  Vakulabharanam is the 14th melakarta rāgam ! but this was a thematic dance presentation of Alwar pasurams choreographed by Sri Zakir Hussain.

At the start Mrs Rama Vaidyanathan was conferred Natya Semmal and Prof. Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan was conferred Ilakkiya semmal  by Chief Guest R Seshasayee, Vice President of Music Academy.   The award were conferred under the aegis of Sripadham Trust run by Zakir Hussain and people knowing his prowess in Thiruppavai & divyaprabandha upanyasam may not be surprised in seeing ‘sri satagopam’ represented grandly on the stage. 

Zakir Hussain is a young Bharata Natyam dancer, well known research scholar, and choreographer.  His unique style blends divyaprabandha pasurams and works of Azhwars.  Today’s programme was about the greatness of Swami Nammalwar – and the divyadesams associated with him.

It started with an astounding performance by Zakir himself on Thirumalirumsolai pasurams; then one on Thirukurungudi and on Thirumala Tirupathi.  There was to be one more on Thiruvananthapuram which could not occur as the programme got curtailed to an unfortunate development [sudden illness to the singer on stage]

The audience were spell bound for 1 ½ hours ~  I felt so happy in attending this and appreciating the well researched theme, the pasurams so well adapted for the dance.  Kudos to Mr Zakir Hussain and Madhusudanan Kalaiselvam and to all those involved in this.

An evening well spent thought it meant staying away from the purappadu of Sri Adhi Kesavar who had come to Thiruvallikkeni for vanabojanam

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st July 2019.

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