|The Tanjore Quartet’s Vadivelu always composed in
sringara bhava and catered to the kings - the Travancore Maharaja, the
Mysore Maharaja and the Tanjore Maratha Maharaja. Those songs always
express love, sometimes with sensual content to evoke such feelings in
those kings watching dance.
(Kamala Lakshminarayanan in ‘Vazhuvoor bani,’ Shanmukha, Oct-Dec 2010)
|After Raja Raja, we hear less about music and dance in the Brihadeeswara
temple. Rajendra Deva, the second son of Rajendra I in 1058 (almost 50
years after the temple had been consecrated), made a provision for
staging a play called ‘Rajarajeswara Nataka’ at the grand festival of
the deity, Rajarajeswara. We even have the name of the lead actor, Santi
Kuttan Tiruvalan Tirumudukundran (Vridhachalam today) alias Vijaya
Rajendra Acharyan and his troupe (varga). Evidently it must have been an
enactment of how the temple was created and must have had the best of
music, dance and drama of that era.
(‘It was the pinnacle of fine arts,’ Pradeep Chakravarthy, The Hindu Fri Review, Feb 20, 2015)
|There was a time when during the tantric panchamakara puja preceding the
singing of the Geeta Govinda song (in Jagannath temple at Puri), the
attending devadasi had to execute some bandha (acrobatic poses)
corresponding to some of the 64 bandhas of the Kama Sutra. Known as
maithuna nritya, this dance symbolised sexual union in the tantric puja.
This seva was abolished at the beginning of the last century and the
only dance performed daily in the temple after that time was the one
offered at the time of sakala dhupa or midday meal.
(‘Devadasi of the Jagannath Temple: precursors of Odissi music and dance’ (1985) by Ileana Citaristi)