Fine Visualisation: Chitra Visweswaran’s ‘Kolaru Padhigam’

Kolaru Padhigam: A Dazzling Bharatanatyam Production

A thematic dance production titled “Kolaru Padhigam” recently captivated audiences at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Choreographed by the esteemed veteran Chitra Visweswaran and performed by the talented students of Lalitha Kala Mandir, this artistic showcase demonstrated the immense scope for interpretation within the grammar of Bharatanatyam.

The Legend Behind Kolaru Padhigam

‘Kolaru Padhigam’ is a collection of ten hymns composed by Thirugnanasambandar, serving as a prayer to Lord Shiva for the protection of his devotees against adverse planetary influence. According to legend, queen Mangaiyarkarasi of Madurai invited Thirugnanasambandar to visit the city. However, Tirunavukarasar advised him against making the journey due to unfavorable planetary positions.

Undeterred, Thirugnanasambandar composed these hymns as a protective mantra, proclaiming that devotees of Lord Shiva transcend these influences. He embarked on the trip to Madurai, carrying with him the powerful essence of the hymns for people to recite.

A Captivating Performance

The performance of ‘Kolaru Padhigam’ commenced with the mesmerizing Anjali in Raga Amritavarshini. Ten girls adorned in vibrant red-orange costumes showcased this introductory piece. The subsequent segments seamlessly delved into the ideas and thoughts expressed in the Padhigam.

Chitra Visweswaran’s choreography incorporated imaginative group movements, characterized by exquisite coordination and varied patterns. Visual representations of the navagrahas, 27 stars, the Samudra Manthan (Churning of the Ocean), and the five elements added an engaging visual element to the production.

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However, it was the portrayal of Ganga’s descent during the Bhagiratha episode that truly left a lasting impact. A group of girls effortlessly transitioned from depicting Mount Kailash to manifesting the seamless flow of the river, stunning the audience with their synchronized movements.

In addition to these captivating segments, the performance also included the graceful portrayal of the Markandeya episode, presented in a subtle yet powerful manner. The closing act featured a Hamsanandi thillana composed by R Visweswaran, which beautifully wrapped up the production.

A Multifaceted Presentation

Backing the dancers’ mesmerizing movements was an impressive musical score, melodious singing, precise lighting, and skillful make-up. The seamless integration of these elements elevated the overall impact of the performance, leaving the audience in awe.


‘Kolaru Padhigam’, choreographed by Chitra Visweswaran and performed by the talented students of Lalitha Kala Mandir, showcased the artistic capabilities of Bharatanatyam. This thematic dance production intricately intertwined movement and music, while conveying the powerful essence of Thirugnanasambandar’s hymns. The audience was left invigorated by the engaging choreography, captivating visuals, and seamless execution, making ‘Kolaru Padhigam’ a remarkable experience for all who witnessed it.

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