Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Alifiya Zaveri.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Alifiya's family, we cordially welcome all of you to an evening of dance. I'm , a post-Arangetram student at From Within Academy, and I will be your MC for this evening.

Before we get started, I’d like to remind everyone of some house rules.

 

- No food or drink is allowed in the auditorium

- If you must leave the auditorium during the performance; please do so in-between items

- If you have young children, please sit towards the aisle. Kindly leave the auditorium if they get restless and start crying so that it is not disturbing to the rest of the audience members. Kindly do not let the children roam around the theater unattended.

- Kindly maintain silence and talk softly when the show is in progress. If you talk loudly, it distrubs the artistes on stage.

 

We ask our audience to turn off their phones so they can stay present with their experience of the art that will be shared. It is touching that some may feel inspired to take their own photos and videos to share on social media. Instead, we invite you to write and speak about your experience after the performance. You are also encouraged to share official photos and videos from our social media accounts.

 

In our digital world, it is truly special that you took the time out of your life to appreciate live art. Please prepare to immerse yourself in this experience by turning your phones off now. Please do not take any photos or videos from this point forward. Thank you for your kind understanding!

Alifiyais a disciple of Guru Smt. Subhashini Vijay Santhanam of the From Within Dance Academy a global dance organization with centers in the US and India. This evening of dance signifies both a beginning and a culmination of sorts for the dancer which include the endless hours of rigorous practice, varied emotions and complete immersion. All of which was done in the pursuit of excellence for this moment when she finally gets on stage – “Arangetram”. In Tamil (one of the south Indian languages) Aranga means a raised stage and “etram” means “to ascend”.
 
All items unless otherwise mentioned have been choreographed by our beloved Guru Subhashini.
 
For all the items we present today, as long as we are able identify clearly, we will mention the time period of the composition or composer life period so that we get an idea into the history and context of when the poem was written and music set. It is hoped that this will give the audience a deeper insight into the relevance of the oral tradition being passed on thru generations and the relevance of the composition in current times. While several old pieces have deep, timeless, philosophical and spiritual significance and several new pieces share values of a new social context with a unique appealing freshness.
 
We hope that the erudite and sensitive audience present today is able to appreciate it all thru our presentation today.

Gayiye Ganapati Gajvadan Pushpanjali

Raga: Hamsadhwani

Tala: Adi

Composer: Tulsi Das (1532–1623)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

This offering of flowers to God is to invoke blessings of Lord Ganesha for a successful performance. I sing the praise of Ganesh, the son of Shiva and Parvati. Ganesh, who is accomplished, generous and omnipotent. He enjoys sweet modaks ( a sweet), and gives wisdom and intelligence. The composer Tulsidas, with palms together in prayer begs the divine power in Ganesh for the blessing that Sri Sita-Ram may always be present in his heart and mind.

Tisram Allarippu

Raga: null

Tala: Tisra Ekam

Composer: Tanjore Quartet

Choreographer: Kalakshetra/Rukmini Devi Arundale 29 February 1904 – 24 February 1986

This dance is typically an opening number. Starting with movements of the neck, eyes and shoulders, it gradually includes movements of the whole body. It is meant to represent the blossoming of a flower. This allarippu is set to a count of three beats.

Arabhi Jathiswaram

Raga: Arabhi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Rajaram Sir of Kalakshetra

Choreographer: Kalakshetra

A "Jathiswaram" is a pure dance presentation, devoid of any abhinaya (emotions), in which, intricate sequences are fused with repetitive musical notes. The dance deals with the execution of adavus (basic steps) and mudras (hand gestures), combined in definite groups. Jathis (rhythmic pieces danced to narrated syllables) are executed combining swara passages (musical scores) in a particular raga and tala.

Sita Shabdham

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Misra Chapu

Composer: Dr. Ramanuja

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Shabdham is an item that introduces expressive dance and story telling (abhinaya). This shabdham is about Sita.

When king Janaka’s men were ploughing the fields, they hit a hard object and on investigating it, found a box. When they opened the box, to their surpise they found a baby girl. She was taken to the King and was adopted by him to be his dearest beautiful daughter Seeta.

One day Sita, now a young maiden, was playing ball with her friends. The ball flew out of the palace garden and a handsome prince- Lord Rama - brought it back to her. As he handed it to her, their eyes met.

Meanwhile, King Janaka decided that the time was right for Sita to be given in marriage.

He invited all the powerful kings, including Ravana, to Sita’s swayamvara. He challenged the assesmbled kings to lift and string Lord Siva’s mighty bow, stating that the one who could do so would marry Sita.

After many suitors tried and failed, Lord Rama lifted the bow as if it was a garland of flowers, strung it and broke it into two, causing it to resound like thunder.

All the kings and rishis came together in Mithila to witness the wedding of Rama and Sita. Beautiful Sita exchanges garlands with Rama and weds him.

Reetigowla Varnam

Raga: Reetigowalai

Tala: Adi

Composer: Thirumalai Srinivas, Krishnaashtotharam

Choreographer: Smt. M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Varnam is the center piece of an Arangetram, depicting various stories from Srimad Bhagavatam or Shri Krishna’s life. The episodes depcited today are - Krishna's birth – Lord Kamsa, Krishna’s maternal uncle, is dashing to death, each of his sister Devaki's seven children. Vasudeva smuggling the eighth baby out of the prison to Nandagopa's home, crossing over the river Yamuna and exchanging Krishna with Yashoda’s child. Finally YogaMaya predicting Kamsa's doom. Krishna killing Poothana, the demon who comes in the disguise of a beautiful woman and tries to poison Krishna to death only to her own demise. Krishna's Gitopadesham to Prince Arjuna when he gives up his arms refusing to fight against his cousins the Kaurava Princes, on the battle ground of Kurukshetra. Princess Draupadi is humiliated by Dushasana in open court, when he grabs her by her hair and tries to disrobe her and Krishna blesses her with a unending saree and saves her virtue, the play between Krishna, when he hides the
clothes of his Gopis, as they are bathing in the river that he hands back to win their hearts.l and finally, Krishna’s dance on the serpent King Kaliya's head.

Pag Ghunguroo

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Adi

Composer: Saint Meera Bai (1498–1546/1547)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Meera was a Princess Saint Poetess in ancient India who was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. She was always engaged in the process of making offerings to the Lord forgetting all other chores. In this bhajan, we describe how Meera’s brother – in - law sends a cup of poison for her to drink which she willingly drinks but it has no effect on her. Further, her mother-in-law chides her for not doing her also for forgetting to bring her a glass of water. Everyone around Meera laugh at her, saying that she is crazy. But Meera ignores all this and continues to worship her Lord through music and dance.

Durge Maharani

Raga: Hindolam

Tala: Adi

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

**The Godesss Durga is praised as the Queen in this song. She is the one who removes the pains of the cycle of birth and death and helps us attain salvation. She removes all our fears. Protector of the world, you are our Mother. She treats all her devotees like her own children and removes their sufferings, slayer of evil forces like that of the Asuras - Shumbha, Nishumbha and Mahishasura, She always bestows her graces for the betterment of the beings in the world. Praise be to thee Oh Mother!**

Radhika Gori Se

Raga: Misra Shankarabharanam

Tala: Adi

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

This piece is a conversation between Little Krishna and his mom Yashodha. He has seen the beautiful fair lass of the village - Radha and is overpowered by her beauty and wants to immediately marry her. He rushes to his mom at once and wants her to arrange the marriage.

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Yashodha explains that she is much older to him. But he argues saying that he won't listen to her or graze her cows unless she gives in. He says he is prepared to see who wins this argument.

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When that does not work, pleads with her saying he would make her sit on a swing made from sandalwood and have Radha his new bride press her tired feet. And he coaxes her saying he would request Radha to prepare fifty six different types of tasty foods for her.

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He is adamant that she would make a fine bride and it would be such a pretty sight to have his little Radha run around in their house. He asks Yashodha to request his older brother Balaraman to bring her over.

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His mother Yashodha hears him out with a smile and hugs him tightly. She wishes to ward off any evil eyes upon her darling and gives in and agrees to the marriage of the little Krishna with the older Radha.

Dhanashri Thillana

Raga: Dhanashree

Tala: Adi

Composer: Maharaja Swati Tirunal (1813-1846)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

**The last item in any Bharatanatyam performance is the Tillana and is mainly a nritta piece or pure dance number in praise of Lord Krishna dancing with the gopis to the sounds of different musical instruments. There is a short verse which means – the gopis are dancing wearing their anklets, as the musical instruments play, there is sweet sound as they dance. Oh Lord Padumanabha, what can I say about all your different pastimes, remover of my sorrows, I bow at your feet. Radha looks for Krishna at the appointed hour when he says he will come. He comes late but she is delighted when he arrives and joins in the dance.**

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