Creating a world record, 7195 Bharatanatyam dancers performed to the tune sung by Natuvanar on March 3, 2019 at Temple Town Chidambaram
Chidambaram: At the famous temple town Chidambaram in Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu, it was an uphill task to make the audience feel that there were over 7,000 dancers performing in unison to the tune sung by Natuvanar. It was an effort to gain entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Dancers performing during the event in Chidambaram
The city woke up to witness what was billed as one of the mammoth dance events in 2019. Over 7,000 Bharatanatyam dancers set a world record for the maximum number of people performing the Bharatanatyam dance form at the Natyanjali fete in Sabanayagar Temple, also known as Sri Natarajar Temple in Chidambaram on March 3, 2019.
Chidambaram Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the heart of the Temple town of Chidambaram. It is one of the five holiest Shiva Temples, each representing one of the five natural elements; it represents akasha (aether - a region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere). The temple complex spread over 50 acres is located in the heart of the city. Dikshithar community believed to have been brought to Chidambaram by Lord Nataraja (Shiva) 3,000 years ago from Mount Kailash. This community has sole right to administer the Temple and perform rituals; it is a close-knit community. Chidambaram Natarajar Temple is an ancient and historic temple dedicated to Lord Shiva Nataraja and Lord Govindaraja Perumal, one of the few temples where both the Shaivite and Vaishnavite deities are enshrined in one place. There have been several renovations in its history, particularly during the days of Pallava/Chola emperors in ancient and pre-medieval periods.
In this famous Temple, Natayanjali event is being organised every year. This year the organisers wanted to set a new Guinness Book Record by more number of people dancing in the given premises. On March 3, Bharatanatyam exponent Dr Padma Subrahmanyam inaugurated the event in which 7,195 dancers participated. The record creating dance was performed in unison by 7,195 dancers from various age groups. The Thillai Natyanjali Trust had planned the event eight months back. It had originally organised the event on March 7, but preponed it to March 3 to ensure maximum participation. The participants, aged between 5 and 40, have been training over the past few months. Two hours before the start of the event, dancers from various dance Gurukuls took up their position without any chaos. The dancers performed for over 14 minutes. Due to poor net connectivity, the mobile barcode scanning of participants got jammed. The number of participants arrived at the venue on the time limit. The event broke the record set by 4,525 dancers in Chennai in 2017.
The certificate was handed over to Nadaraja Moorthy Dikshithar, Treasurer of Thillai Natyanjali Trust, by Rishi Nath, adjudicator from the Guinness Book of World Records. He said the minimum requirement to attempt an entry into the records was five minutes, but now over 7,000 dancers performed for nearly 14 minutes. There was a coordinator per 100 participants, mentoring them through training. The entire temple precinct was packed to capacity with audience from eight Indian states including Tamil Nadu and also from the USA, UK, Malaysia and Singapore. –TS Venkatesan