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Arangetram’ held at Welham Girls’ School

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By Our Staff Reporter 

Dehradun, 11 Aug: Welham Girls’ School hosted the ‘Arangetram’ ceremony for two of its Class 12 students, Samriddhi and Meenal Goel, disciples of CK Rajalakshmi and Satyapriya Iyer, here, today. For a Bharatanatyam dancer, an ‘Arangetram’, which means ‘ascending the stage’, is a graduation ceremony that marks the first step towards becoming a professional.

The evening’s programme began with lighting of the lamp by the Chief Guest, Jayalakshmi Eshwar, and the Principal, Vibha Kapoor.

Samriddhi and Meenal began their marathon performance with the traditional invocation tothe Devi addressing her as the universal mother. This was followed by Alarippu, the first technical introductory piece in the repertoire. The next ‘kriti’ was set in Naattairagam and Adi talam, portraying Lord Ganesha dancing blissfully. Jathiswaram, which is a pure ‘nritta’ performance came next followed by the Varnam, the central and most elaborate number in a Bharatnatyam ‘Margam’ that tests the stamina and emotive prowess of the dancers. The Varnam was set in Anandabhairaviragam and Adi talam. Samriddhi and Meenal thereafter presented the devotional Keerthanam in praise of Lord Shiva, set to Adi talam and Ragam Revatti. The Padam or pure ‘abhinaya’ piece was a Kannada composition, ‘Chikkavane Ivanu’, set to Ragamalika and Adi Talam.

This was followed by a bhajan by Meerabai ‘Hari tum harojana ki peer’ set to Ragam Darbari Kanada and Adi talam.  The last piece in the ‘Margam’ was the Tillana set to Adi Talam and Ragam Brindavani saranga. The entire performance concluded with a Mangalam saluting the audience, the Gurus, the musicians and Almighty.

Aacharya Jayalakshmi Eshwar, one of the most renowned exponents of Bharatnatyam, was the Chief Guest. She wholeheartedly praised the sterling performances of the young dancers.

Meenal and Samriddhi received their initial training in Bharatnatyam under CK Rajalakshmi and continued to grow and bring it to fruition under the able guidance of their Guru, Satyapriya Iyer. Satyapriya, a graduate in Bharatnatyam from the renowned Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, Chennai, has been teaching Bharatnatyam for the last fifteen years. She has performed in many countries and is recipient of numerous awards including the ‘Natyakala Vipanchi Award’ for her contribution to teaching the dance form. Most of the dance numbers presented by the girls were choreographed by their Guru, Satyapriya.

The Live Orchestra ensemble for the spectacular event included i Vinod Kumar Kannur as the vocalist; Payyanur Rajan on the mridangam; Priyesh Kanhangad on the flute; Karaikudi Shyamala Bhaskar on the Veena and on the Nattuvangam was their Guru Satyapriya Iyer.

The evening’s programme ended with the students, offering ‘Guru Dakshina’ and paying their respects to their Gurus.