Bala Devi Chandrashekar premieres
Brihadeeswara - form to formless
- through the eyes of a Devaradiyaal
Dec 16, 2017 - Jan 1, 2018 Chennai
Jan 2, 2018 Thanjavur

November 28, 2017

Brihadeeswara - form to formless takes the audience on a journey into the soul and mind of a Devaradiyaal, Based on the guidance of renowned scholar Dr. T.N Ramachandran and historian Dr. Kodavayil Balasubramanian and Dr. BM Sundaram, this production celebrates the intertwining of the spatial and spiritual vibrations experienced by the Devaradiyaal, as she goes about her day to day life in the hallowed architectural wonder, the Brihadeeswara temple.

Devaradiyaal, as the name suggests, is one who has dedicated herself to the eternal service of the Lord and one who leads a highly pure life. This unique production celebrates the way her devout soul is immersed in the spiritual fervour pervading the spell binding edifice built by Raja Raja Chola.

This production across four acts celebrates the Devaradiyaal's beauty and the architectural mastery of the temple while tracing her day to day life oscillating between the spectacular form of the temple and the enlightened awareness of the Lord's formlessness as the cosmic dancer. The production weaves the connection between the physical, metaphysical, lyrical and spiritual significance of each facet of the magnificent structure.

As the composition flows, it touches upon the temple as a metaphor by highlighting the Thirumurai hymns of Sundarar and Thirugnana Sambandhar. It celebrates the nine facets of the lingam whilst extolling and deriving inspiration from the verses of Tirunavukkarasar, Manikavasagar, Thirumoolar and Sekkizhar's Periya Puranam. Initiated by Goddess Uma, the different koothu - dance forms are conceived as performed by the Lord. The beautiful Angaharas (grouping of Karanas), depicted inside the chamber of the first tier of the vimana above the sanctum, are performed for specific sollukattus of the panchamukha vadhya, a unique percussion instrument representing the five faces of the Lord. The "Kailay ula" anecdote of Sundarar and Cheran accentuates the artistic relevance of the fresco paintings during the Chola reign.

Brihadeeswara - Form to the Formless - concept, research and choreography by Bharatanatyam exponent and research scholar Bala Devi Chandrashekar with music composed by the musical genius Rajkumar Bharathi, script by PR Venkatasubramanian and set against the monumental Brihadeeswara temple, an UNESCO World Heritage site - is a celebration of the physical, metaphysical presence of this magnificent temple through the eyes of the untarnished pure celestial love of the Devaradiyaal and the ultimate unification of the individual soul with the supreme energy.

Performance dates
16th December 2017, 6.30pm: South Zone Cultural Centre, Ministry of Culture, Thanjavur

25th December 2017, 7pm: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kilpauk, Chennai

29th December 2017, 5.45pm: For Kartik Fine Arts, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, Chennai

1st January 2018, 7pm: Krishna Gana Sabha, T.Nagar, Chennai

2nd January 2018, 7pm: Brihadeeswara Temple, Thanjavur