It is almost ironical that dancers today celebrate the glory of Nagarathnamma, who from the thirties to 1947 (she died in 1952) led a dogged fight against the anti-devadasi movement, which deprived an entire community of its centuries old artistic credentials. Not knowing what to expect of Nagarathnamma- Pancharatna Pancharasam Natya conceived and choreographed by Kanaka Sudhakar of Sunaina, premiered at Delhi's Tamil Sangam auditorium, one must admit to being very pleasantly surprised at the laudable effort. Featuring Kanaka Sudhakar with her disciples, the production testified to great pains taken to capture the period details with backdrops of the Mysore court, the typical turbans worn at the time, sarees draped in the Karnataka style, with suitable jewellery etc. One very heartening feature was the uniformly well trained dancers.
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