More than 1,300 Malayalee women in the UAE, ranging from schoolgirls to grandmothers, danced their way into the record books at an event in Dubai on Friday.
The women set a new record by performing Thiruvathirakali, a traditional dance in Kerala, with the largest number of participants. The performers, draped in the ethnic Kerala sarees, gave a 20-minute performance, choreographed by Malayalam actress and dancer Asha Sarath.
The performance was held as part of Pooram 2017, an event replicating the Thrissur Pooram, the most popular cultural festival of Kerala. It was held at the Etisalat Academy in Dubai.
The 1,300-plus women, who have been rehearsing in 40 different groups at homes, offices and parks in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman and Al Ain for several weeks, lined up in 14 concentric circles for the performance.
"We've broken the Middle East record. The previous record set was in 2013, where 400 plus women danced. But with us, that number has reached 1,300," Khaleej Times quoted organiser Smitha Suresh as saying. The committee said it would send a submission to the Limca Book of Records as well.
Apart from Thiruvathirakali, Pooram 2017 also showcased various traditional dance and art forms and a 'kudamattam', the changing of the traditional ornate umbrellas by mahouts sitting atop elephants. The organisers arranged life-size elephant replicas for the event.
The current Guinness World Record for the largest group performing Thiruvathirakali anywhere is held by more than 6,500 girls and women, who performed the dance in Kizhakkambalam near Kochi in May. Reports said that along with the 2,500 participants from Kerala, women from 20 other Indian states also took part in the performance.