30th May, 2022
The 82nd year BhagavataMelaNatakaMahotsav, organised by MelatturBhagavataMelaNatyaNatakaSangam, will take place at Sri VaradarajaPerumalSannidhi, Melattur, near Thanjavur.
- The little village of Melattur, 18 kms from Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, rises a spurt of feverish activity every mid-summer during the BhagavataMelaNatakaUtsav.
- It is organised in the sannidhi of Lord Sri Varadaraja, the presiding deity of the village, on the occasion of Sri Nrusimha Jayanti.
- The BhagavataMelatradition, is believed to be in existence from the 11th Century.
- The unique features of MelatturBhagavataMelanatakams are:
- It is a pious art.
- This day, it is the only surviving link in Tamil Nadu that connects us with our ancient Sanskrit theatre.
- It came into being as result of Bhakti movement about 450 years ago.
- The tradition is still preserved in its pristine purity as a true temple art, in the worship Lord Vishnu.
- The natakams, dedicated to Lord Sri Vishnu, are performed annually with religious fervour in the sannidhi of Sri VaradarajaPerumal temple at Melattur on the occasion of Nrusimha Jayanti, as has been the practice for centuries.
- This art is a unique blend of Bhakti, music, dance and drama.
- The utsav is a balance between true/pure devotion and aesthetic display of traditional art.
- Only male artists portray the female roles.
- Kuchipudi tradition originated as a type of BhagavataMelaNatakam, a dramatic sadhana dedicated to the worship of Vishnu.
- The structure of the dance-drama follows the Sanskriticand the Shastric conventions.
- There are songs, dances, dialogues and speeches inthe gradual unfolding of the play.
- The gestures and postures (angika), words (vachika) and the representation of temperament (sattvika), costumes and decorations and make-up (aharya)- all these elements give Natya its characteristic form.
- The technique of BhagavataMelaNataka incorporates all the three aspects of the histrionic art as expounded in the Natyashastra treatises.
- Nritta(pure dance), Nritya (expressional dance) andNatya (drama) find sufficient scope in the enactment of the dance-dramas.