After etching his name in the Guinness Book of World Records and several other Record Books for the 50 Jattis challenge in 2020, Chennai-based Guru Kalaimamani Madhurai Ramachandra Muralidharan has now embarked on a 60 Jatti challenge. Speaking to Natyahasini, last year participant and founder of Nadamudra School of Dance and Music, Hyderabad, Bharatanatyam dancer, Chaithanya Kusuma Priya, says that in Season-2, three of her students are participating in the 60 Jatti challenge, which was held on Sunday, October 10, online via Zoom. She says that the Guru is conducting the 60 Jattis challenge for India and Asia Book of Records.
According to her, the Guru has trained the participants globally by conducting a two-hour session on weekends. “The goal of the challenge is to perform 60 Jattis back-to-back in a span of 90 minutes,” she says. The Bharatanatyam dancer says that three of her students participating in the challenge are Shwethaaparnika Dashetwar, Sannidhi K Hema Kumar, and Saharsra Gongidi. “Swetha has been learning Bharatanatyam from Dec. 2019, Sannidhi from Dec. 2017 and Sahasra from June 2019 under me,” says Chaithanya.
Giving a description about the Jatti, the Nadamudra founder says that Korvais and Jathis have a similar structure. “The structure has two parts. In the first part, Purvangam, two or more different Adavus are combined into a dance pattern. And in the second part, Uttarangam, a dance pattern of either Chinna Theermanam or Periya Theermanam. Theermanams are done in threes. Technically they signal the end of Korvai and Jatti,” she says. Further explaining, she says that Korvais are used in the compositions called Jatiswarams, Thillanas and in songs where the Swara patterns are sung. “And, Jattis fall in the compositions called Varnam, the most important piece of the Margam, where Nritta and Nritya are united in a judicious balance of proportions. It has been passed on to us through a vast oral tradition called Sollukattu along with Nattuvangam (playing cymbals). Jathi becomes a very important part of the Indian classical dances and has reflected in several compositions in different dimensions,” she adds.
Chaithanya says that her students have been practising and training very hard for this Challenge for the last four months. “Rigorous training is being given for five days a week where they are learning nuances of Jattis. Each Jatti is a unique entity in itself. They are fortunate to learn from Guru Madhurai R Muralidharan Garuwho himself is a Composer, Choreographer and a mastermind behind this endeavour,” she says.