In the end of July I joined Usha Raghavan and her students in tour through South India, visiting places relevant to Bharata Natyam dance. The journey covered 2 states - Tamil Nadu and Kerala. During the tour we visited lots of temples and had workshops in Kathakali and Mohiniatam.
The first notable visit was Chidambaram temple, which is dedicated to Lord Nataraja (dancing Shiva). It is believed that this is the place where Shiva performed his cosmic dance – Tandava. Chidambaram is significant monument for Bharata Natyam as it includes all 108 Karanas (postures of dancing Shiva). As a great honor for our group was possibility to dance in front of Nataraja. Inspired by great spirituality prevailing there, we continued dancing on our own near the water tank.
One of the most beautiful temples we visited was Brihadeeswarar Temple in Tanjore (Thanjavur). It is distinct with its typical Chola architecturer- full of elaborated details. What I enjoyed the most in this temple was the lightness and spaciousness in colours and construction.