Removed from the city arclights, Udumalai Senthil is fulfilling his dream. His providing to Lord Shiva is the Pradosha Tandava in temples. For near 23 years, he has carried out it uninterruptedly — 548 instances and counting. His 549th efficiency on July 1, being Sani Pradosham, is at Sri Putreeswarar Temple, Kurumpirai village, Chingleput. ‘We’ve gained a lot from Nataraja, the very artwork itself. What will we do for him?, he asks
However what’s Pradosha Tandava? It’s a dance Shiva and Parvathi carried out in Mount Kailash or in between the horns of Nandi based on some, after having drunk the lethal Halahala poison and freed the devas. The auspicious time, through the auspicious interval of 90 minutes earlier than and after sundown, happens twice a month.
Ardour for dance
Senthil had all the time been concerned about dance. He learnt from Muthu Bhagavathar and Pazhani Muthusami Pillai, the latter’s type extra like Kuchipudi than Bharatanatyam, he declares frankly. After doing his commencement in Commerce, he taught dance in a faculty — he would improvise movie songs with classical steps and a few folks steps he had learnt from the tribals round Udumalai. He discovered Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who inspired him to learn and be taught. He was despatched to Nrithyodaya (Padma Subrahmanyam’s dance establishment) in Chennai, the place he did gurukula vasa.
Entertaining the god
For Senthil, the Pradosha Tandava occurred by likelihood. He had taken Lakshmi Swaminathan, an in depth acquaintance, to the Thudiyalur temple in Coimbatore. He was ready exterior for her, when he noticed the utsava moorthy or the pradosha nayakan on the Rishabha vahanam, left alone after the procession across the temple. Feeling dangerous to see nobody across the deity, he requested Lakshmi to sing and he danced the Natesa Navakam, ‘Sadancita mudancita,’ and the Anaikatti ashram music. By which period, the resident saxophone participant joined in and performed ‘Aadikkondaar anda vedikkai’. This impromptu efficiency was a lot appreciated.
On the best way house he thought, ‘Why not plan a brief efficiency throughout Pradoshams?’ Venkatachalapati of Avinashi Lingeshwarar temple close to Tiruppur was supportive and that’s the way it started. “It was an enormous hit. Many provided cash, however I didn’t take. I nonetheless don’t settle for cash for the Pradosha Tandavam.”
Nevertheless, Senthil was filled with doubts. Was he on the proper path? There have been no precedents to be taught from. He consulted the Tiruvavaduthurai Adheenam, who permitted of his Pradosha Tandavam, gave him his first books on dance and shared the manuscripts obtainable of their Saraswathi Mahal library. He pointed him in the direction of the 108 Tandava work within the Tiruvidaimarudur temple as effectively. V. Ganapati Sthapati was one other inspiration and information. He taught him tips on how to observe sculptures and search for a reference to the sthala puranam in some nook of the temple. He additionally instructed him to confer with Thevarams and Thiruvasagams.
Understanding concerning the temple
The expertise at each temple is totally different. Senthil reaches earlier than the pradosham time to speak to the individuals there — clergymen, flower distributors, common guests — to be taught concerning the temple, the sthala puranam, and the tales related to it. If any books can be found, he references them. He’ll research the sculptures and attempt to incorporate a couple of freizes and the sthala puranam within the dance that night; he educates the general public concurrently about their temple.
The Pradosha Tandavam lasts about quarter-hour. It’s carried out after the abhishekam, through the alankaram. It’s carried out in entrance of the Nandi or behind, relying upon the house. He performs a Pushpanjali, a rhythmic interlude of the Tandava (Ghatam Karthick’s recording) and the story of the Pradosham contained in the temple. The Navasandhi Nadanam is carried out exterior because the Utsavar is taken on a procession across the temple. The songs, that are normally on Shiva, are chosen based on the place the place the temple is situated.
The Mallari within the purappad is performed by the resident nagaswara artistes based on their customized, adopted by the thavil interlude, when Senthil portrays the sthala puranam narrating the story, if mandatory.
Quoting from a e book he was given in Nagarcoil he says, there existed male devadasars too. And refers to himself as a ‘sevak’ of Shiva. Ought to we have to talk about the grammar of his dance, or simply applaud the solemnity of the observe?