Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Tanjavur Quartet

Some months ago, we traced the route taken by exponents of Carnatic music in the Vijayanagara kingdom to Tanjore, where the Maratha Nayaks patronized them. That there were a number of music and dance forms already is pretty clear, but with time these new systems became the norm. The new forms flourished but with pressure from the new British rulers and missionaries, some of the old practices were getting forced out. One of the older forms that underwent change was what was termed Dasiattam and four brothers known as the Tanjai nalavar got involved (together with some others) in its revival and restructuring into what we know as today’s Bharatnatyam. However for certain reasons they were forced to move. Let’s go to the Tanjore of those days and retrace the steps of the famous Quartet to Travancore and their stay there.