Rajagopalaswamy Dance and Music Festival 2019 was a part of the chariot festival, celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni (March– April). This year, select dancers from Bengal, Assam and Goa participated for the purpose of entertainment of the Divine.
The evening of 30th March started with a Puja and Parikrama of the Garbhgriha. Dancers Indrajit Sarkar and Nilay Mandal initiated the Nrityanjali by Guru Vandana. Todaymangalam was performed by Tanusree Jana while an aspiring artist Subhankar Sengupta from Kolkata performed Dasavataram.
The evening went into a trance during the awesome performance of Soumen Palit (Nee Inda Mayam Varnam). The flavour quickly changed from Nritya items to Abhinaya performed mainly by the senior dancers. Indrajit Sarkar, a promising young Odissi dancer from Bengal performed Ahi Niloy Soilo, written by a Muslim devotee of Lord Jaganatha.
Chinna padam was performed by Gaurav Vyas (own choreography). Nitisree Boyal Kundu, an “A” graded Doordarshan artist performed Krishna Javeli. Ashtapadi Kirtanam and Kalinga Nardanam were performed by two aspiring dancers Ankana Manna and Surjya Saha. Esha Banerjee and Smruti Mayeekar performed Ranjanimala choreographed by Mrs. Sheela Unnikrishnan. Another senior dancer, Nilay Mandal performed a hindi bhajan “Mai toh nahi jaun”, choreographed by Padmashree Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan.
The temple is a Vaishnavite shrine located in the town of Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu. The presiding deity is Rajagopalaswamy, a form of Lord Krishna. The temple is spread over an area of 23 acres and is one of the important Vaishnavite shrines in India. It is called Dakshina Dwarka.
Every year a group of individuals are selected consisting of both aspiring and senior dancers from different zones of the country to perform for the Lord. The festival was organised by Divine Fine Arts Sabha in association with Sangeet Kala Kendra, Kolkata.
Ankana Manna, a participant said, “I am overwhelmed to be a part of such an event”. Gaurav Vyas, says “It’s certainly important to perform for Krishna and his devotees”. Indrajit and Nilay feel that this experience has enhanced their spirituality.