The 79th edition of Bhagavata Mela Nataka Mahotsav opens on May 21 this year in central Tamil Nadu.
The Bhagavata Mela tradition of music, verse and dance in bhakthi has survived for over five centuries and only in this Thanjavur village called Melattur, some 15 kms from Thanjavur town.
The natakams, composed in chaste Telugu are performed in the square of a colony in front of the temple ; they start late evening and run till daybreak in most cases.
While 'Seetha Kalyanam' in the Bhagavatam style will be staged on May 28, 'Valli Thirumanam' in Thamizh will be staged on May 29.
The inaugural function and the unique Prahlada Charita Bhagavata Mela Natakam is on May 23 though the religious events start May 21.
A few classical dance recitals (in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi) have been arranged on some evenings of the fest.
The shows are open to all and free but S. Natarajan, president and chairman of the Trust that manages this art (he is also a choreographer, artistic director and dancer) says that the funds from private bodies and well-wishers alone help to run this festival. He seeks support from rasikas.
Natarajan's contact - 94431 27000
This is the schedule of 79th year Bhagavata Mela Nataka Mahotsav
Venue: Sri Varadaraja Perumal Sannathi, Melattur on May 21 to 30, 2019.
This is the programme:
May 21 - 7.30 am - Poorvangam at Sri Rudhralayam & Sri Vigneswara Temple
May 22 - 8.15 pm - Nama Sankeertan by Udayalur Kalyanaraman & troupe
May 23 - 7.30 pm - Nadaswaram by Pilliyarpatti T K Saravanan & troupe
- 9.00 pm - Inauguration of mahotsav
- 9.30 pm - Bhagavata Mela Natakam “Prahlada Charitam”
May 24 - 7.00 pm - Bharatanatyam by students of “Bhagavata Mela Natyalaya”, Melattur.
- 7.30 pm - Bharatanatyam by member-artistes of ABHAI, Chennai
May 25 - 7.30 pm - Bharatanatyam by Diya Shankar, Chennai
- 8.30 pm - “Sri Krishna Vijayam” Thematic Natyam by Geetha Sridhar (London) & Sukanya Ramesh
- 9.30 pm - Bhagavata Mela Natakam “Harischandra-Part 1”
May 26 - 8.00 pm - Carnatic Music by Smitha Madhav, Hyderabad
- 9.30 pm - Bhagavata Mela Natakam “Harischandra-Part 2”
May 27 - 7.00 pm - Kuchipudi dance by V Ramakrishna, Telangana
- 8.30 pm - “Kamba Ramanyam” dance drama by Gayathri Bhakthan & troupe, Pondicherry
May 28 - 9.30 pm - Bhagavata Mela Natakam “Seetha Kalyanam”
May 29 - 9.30 pm - Tamil Opera - Valli Thirumanam
May 30 -7.00 pm - Sri Anjaneya Aradhana - Naamasankeertana by Udayalur Balarama Bhagavatar & troupe and Bhagavata Mela artistes.