Express News Service
CHENNAI: On February 2, the Thyaggaya Charitable Trust and Thyagayya TV entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest number of artistes learning and performing the medieval poet Thyagaraja’s Keerthanams in three art forms — Carnatic vocals, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. The event was hosted at the Ramachandra Convention Center in Thiruvanmiyur by saxophone exponent Shri ERJanardhan, founder of the Trust.
The Carnatic band with over 700 singers, musicians and instrumentalists, led by Sudha Raghunathan performed three keerthanams — Sadinchine, Sri Ganapathini and Endaro Mahanubavulu. The Kuchipudi session was led by Guru Krishna Kumar who choreographed the keerthanam ‘Endaro Mahanubavulu’ for the record. Guru Parvati Ravi Ghantasala choreographed the same keerthanam for the Bharatnatyam piece as well. The new record for the biggest Kuchipudi dance lesson consists of 1,183 Kuchipudi dancers, while the record for the largest Bharatanatyam dance lesson has 436 Bharatanatyam dancers. All the participants followed the lead artiste in the performance.
“We faced difficulties in breaking the record due to technical issues. We finished singing in the first attempt and they disqualified us. The judges said that a lot of people could not be heard and did not sing. We tried it again and worked out the technical details to break the record,” said Sudha Raghunathan at the press conference held on Friday at Hotel Savera. The press meet was organised to celebrate this record and motivate the artistes’ fraternity across the world.
Parvathy Ravi Ghantasala said that the Bharatanatyam troupe could have seen larger participation had there not have been examinations during the event. The participants of both the dance forms Bharathnatyam and Kuchipudi, consisted of everyone from young artists to those who’d given up dance ages ago “They started practising when we put the video up for the public to practice,” said Ghantasala at the presser which was held at Savera Hotel. “Chennai got recognition from UNESCO. This record reinforces why we got that recognition”, said Sudha Raghunathan.