The Guinness world record for the largest mohiniyattam dance is garnered by 5000 mohiniyattam artists across the state of Kerala in India on 18th January 2020 at an event called “Ekatmakam” in the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur. I was working as a steward for the guinness world records authority.
Today I am going to share my experience working for guinness world record with my wordpress family.
It was an unexpected opportunity of me and the other 84 stewards who accompanied me. All of us never had a thought being part of such an important and grand event. I would also like to thank my best friend Aravind, who was also a steward, for suggesting me to try this opportunity. Also I thank all the people behind picking us for this.
It was not an easy task to coordinate and control such a grand event where you have to take care of a lot of people and responsibilities. We were 120 people which consist of 10 chief officers, 8 group captains and 102 group members (both captains and members are stewards). We had a small instruction campaign in the morning from our chief officers and then the next session of the event started from the afternoon. We had to cover the ground, the “Thekkinkadu Maithanam” with carpets for the dancers to make sure that they don’t get any interruption from the stones or anything on the ground. The stewards had to make everything safe, clear and perfect. Around 3.30 PM the official from the Guinness World Records, London, Glenn Andrew Polardino came to see the stewards to assign our duties and gives us some guidance on the responsibility and importance of our duty. He said tha we, stewards were the official evaluators of the Guinness World Records. On 4.00 PM IST the participants came to the venue. The most important and hard task was to arrange them into 100 lines each line consisting of 50 participants. The dancers were not friendly and disciplined at first as most of them are childs and teen-agers. But they obeyed us sometime after. We gave them instructions and rules to be followed during the event. I had to be stubborn to them as they was forcing me to get to the limit of my patience. I pray that they’d never cursed me.
Around 5:00 PM the event started with prayers song succeeded by some valuable speeches by Swami Chidanandapuri and Sri Sri Ravishankar. The event also had the presence of the hon’ble central minister of cooperation of India, V. Muralidharan, hon’ble education minister of Kerala, C. Ravindranath and hon’ble agricultural minister V. S Sunilkumar. As the sun was setting down on 6.05 PM, as the stewards raised the green flag, the dance started.
Each stewards assigned to take care of one line. The stewards have the whole responsibility of the line they are assigned to. Another difficult task we’re assigned to is to evaluate the participants during their performance. We had to go from one end to another end and evaluate their performance, make sure all of them are dancing, count their number and make sure the number remains the same till the end, and also do not interrupt their dance. While walking through them, evaluating the performance of each single dancers I felt that how much responsibility I carry. If any mistake from my side or from any other stewards will result in restating the dance from first or even it may end up in failing this attempt for the new record.
While walking through them, for a moment, seriously man, I felt like I’m the king of the Thrissivaperur (ancient name of Thrissur). 😛
Their performance ended in 06:20 PM lasting 15 minutes. We had to submit our evaluation report about the performance to the officials. By 7.45 PM Guinness World Records official Glenn announced that the attempt was successful and Thrissur witnessed a new world record of the largest mohiniyattam dance.
Around 5000 dancers across Kerala have participated in this world record holding dance.
Dr. Dhanusha Sanyal choreographed this visual treat, which says about the Kundalini, the life energy. The song was composed by Ajith Edappally and sung by Madhu Balakrishnan.
What is Mohiniyattam?
Mohiniyattam is a dance originated in Kerala around 14th or 15th century. Mohiniyattam literally means the dance of enchantress (Mohini – Enchantress + Aattam – Dance). Mohiniyattam is believed to be originated in the temples of Kerala. Mohiniyattam is garnered as one of a classical dance of India for its richness and antiquity, by the Sangeet Natak Academy of India. Mohiniyattam mainly focuses on the Lasya bhava of dance. The dancer accompanied with background song in either in Malayalam or in Manipravalam, which is a hybrid language of Malayalam and Sanskrit. Unlike other south indian classical dances, mohiniyattam uses local instruments like idakka, mizhavu and chenda along with other common instruments. It is widely performed in the temples and dance festives, etc. ( I give up. Lol 😛 . Refer Wikipedia)
I really enjoyed being a part of such a grand event. I consider this is one of the best things happened in my life. I failed potraying here what I really feel. I hope you enjoyed reading this.
(No copyright infringement intended to the photos uploaded here. All rights reserved to the respective owners.)