Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Ananya Chavali.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Ananya'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!

Ananyais 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.

Bhupalam Pushpanjali

Raga: Bowli

Tala: Adi

Composer: Neela Ramanuja

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

We begin today's program with a_ pushpanjali _(or offering of flowers) and a _shlokam_. This is an item where the dancer salutes god, guru and the audience. The shlokam is in praise of Lord Ganesha who has 16 names. Chanting, reading or hearing his name gives one salvation. He is always invoked at the start of a new endeavor – such as learning something, getting married, entering a new home, or setting off to battle. The Devas also worship Lord Ganesha and by doing so obtain salvation. “O Lord Ganesha, you who are the leader of the Ganas and destroyer of all obstacles, I bow to you.”

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.

Charukesi Jathiswaram

Raga: Charukesi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Neela Ramanuja - contemporary

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

"Jathiswaram" is a pure dance item performed to a musical score in a particular raga and tala. The dancer executes basic steps and complex movement patterns to rhythmic syllables (jathis) and musical notes (swaras).

Tridevi Shabdam

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Misrachapu

Composer: Neela Ramanuja - contemporary

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

This is a dance item with both nritta and abhinaya elements in which abhinaya features prominently. The dancer introduces abhinaya (expression) for the first time in her repertoire of items for the performance. The intensity of emotion or abhinaya depicted increase gradually through the performance of this item. Shabdams are usually composed in Raaga Maalika and Misrachapu taalam. The Shabdam is usually devotional, in praise of a dominant theme like Gods, Godesses, their pastimes, or Kings. Shabdams are also referred to as Yasogitams ( literally, singing the praises of). The lyrics are set to simple sahityam (lyrics) sprinkled with easy korvais.

This Shabdam is an ode to the Godesses of Strength, Wealth and Knowledge. We present the TriDevi shabdam in praise of the Trinity of Goddesses \- Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. The lyrics for each Goddess is set to a particular Raaga.

The first two verses offer salutations to Durga and seek her blessings, whose energies pervade the entire Universe, who is the protector of the Universe and who is the great Yogini and the embodiment of Knowledge and eternal bliss.

The next verse is in praise of Lakshmi, the daughter of the King of the Ocean of Milk (Nectar), the source of light (knowledge) for the Universe, the one fortunate to have the good Graces of Brahma, Indra and Shiva, one who is resident in the three Worlds and the one who is beloved of Mukunda (Lord Narayana)

The last two verses seek the blessings of Saraswathi, the lotus seated goddess adorned in white with a Veena in her hands and to whom Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara pray. The devotee prays to seek her help in destroying ignorance.

Durga, is one of the six Gods , Goddesses , in our exploratory theme in the margam. Durga or Devi is the combined Shakti ( or energy ) of the Trinity ( Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). She is the slayer of Ignorance ( demons), especially sent to Earth to slay the demon Mahishasura. Her victory over evil is celebrated during the Vijayadashami festival of ten days.

The followers of Durga are of the Sakta devotional tradition. Spiritually, she is represented as Maya, the illusory material force or reflection of the Supreme Consciousness as expounded by shri Adi Shankara in his Advaita philosophy.

Roopamu Joochi

Raga: Todi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Muthuswami Deekshitar 1775 to 1835

Choreographer: Quartet / Kalakshetra

The Varnam is the central and most elaborate item presented in any Bharatanatyam repertoire. It includes complex rhythmic passages along with interpretive dance and stories supporting the main idea of the lyrics This Varnam is steeped in Sringara and is the primary Rasa in the lyrics. The heroine’s affection is directed towards Lord Shiva or Lord Tyagesha the presiding deity of Thiruvaroor temple. She says, having set my eyes on your wondrous form, my heart is filled with love and I approach you only to find you upset and angry at me. You are the Lord of the world and you remove all three kinds of sufferings of your devotees. Why are you not doing the same for me?

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The three tApa or sufferings are:

1. AdhyAtmika, sufferings arising from one's own mind and body;
2. Adhidaivika, sufferings arising from nature; and
3. Adhibhautika, sufferings arising from other living entities.

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I am always engrossed in worshiping and glorifying you with a heart filled with love and joyfully recount and praise all your acts of prowess and valor. Cupid is considered the most attractive and handsome man. The heroine or nayika says, you are so handsome that you would equal a crores of Cupids. Please do not play tricks on me, my Lord. With flower arrows, the God of Love, is striking at me and this love is causing me so much pain and I am unable to stop myself now. The time is right for you to take me to be yours. Frequently, I focus my mind at your feet and take solace and console myself good naturedly. You are the most honored Sri Thyagesha who resides in Thiruvaroor, please don’t delay in offering protection to me.

Bho Shambho

Raga: Revathi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Dayananda Saraswathi - 1930-2015

Choreographer: M. Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

**This song is in praise of the Lord of dance, Lord Nataraja. The Lord who manifest by himself ‘Swayambhu’, Source of Ganges, Shankara, oh merciful lord who redeems me from this ocean of life, samsAra, without gunas, one who is beyond time, past, present and future, truth beyond gunas, beyond all things finite, oh infinite, blissful, wondrous, ever the same lingA, All the sages worship at your feet oh Lord of the world.**

Bhavamulona

Raga: Suddha Dhanyasi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Sri. Annamacharya - 14th Century Poet

Choreographer: null

Pray and praise the Lord as Govinda, Govinda inside your heart as well as around yourself. The poet encourages everyone to pray not only inwardly but also praise the Lord openly at all times.

Incarnations of all the Gods are none other than Sri Hari himself. All of this Universe is none other than Sri Hari himself. All the vedic chants and mantras are none other than Sri Hari himself;

So, chant Hari, Hari, Hari, Hari, all the time, Oh my mind!

All that happens in this Universe are an outcome of deeds of Lord Vishnu himself; All the Vedas are in admiration and praise of Lord Vishnu;

Lord Vishnu is the one that is utmost, ultimate, highest in the Universe; So, try to search for Vishnu, all the time, Oh my mind!

The beginning and the end (of this Universe) is none other than Achyuta;; The killer of the asuras is none other than Achyuta ;

The Lord atop the Venkatadri Hill is none other than Achyut;

So, pray for His protection all the time, Oh my mind!

We recount how Sage Narada questions the Lord to reaffirm that he indeed was the Lord’s greatest devotee. Lord Narayana points to a humble wood cutter on earth and says that he was his greatest devotee. Narada is surprised and points out that the wood cutter only calls out his name once in a day but Narada is chanting ‘Narayana Narayana’ all the time.

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Lord Vishnu smiles and hands Narada a cup filled with oil and asks him to circumambulate Vaikuntam wanrning him that not even a drop of oil should drip. Narada carefully complies. Once he returns the cup, he at once asks if he was the greatest devotee of the Lord as he has successfully completed the task.

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The Lord smiles and asks him how many times he had called his name in the process of his walk around Vaikuntam. Ruefully, Narada admits that he had focused only on the oil cup.

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Lord Vishnu points out that the man on earth like many of us is engaged in Samasara and trying hard to earn a livelihood for his family. But everyday, with mind and heart filled with devotion, he calls out to him and prays to him. That is most appeasing to the Lord.

Muddugare Yashodha

Raga: Kurinji

Tala: Adi

Composer: Sri. Annamacharya - 14th Century Poet

Choreographer: Avijit Das

**An ode to Krishna through beautiful gems: Krishna is submerged in a tub of pearls when mother Yashodha is kissing him; He is strong as a diamond when killing Kamsa; His consort Rukmini’s lips are like Coral; He is like Gomedhagam (brown stone) when he lifts the Govardhana Mountain; He glows like the yellow sapphire when dancing on Kaliya the serpent king; He is like the blue sapphire in the form of Lord Venkateshwara. **

Kalyani Thillana

Raga: Kalyani

Tala: Adi

Composer: Mysore Vasudevacharyar - 1865-1961

Choreographer: Guru M R Krishnamurthy

The last item in any Bharatanatyam performance is the Thillana and is mainly a nritta piece or pure dance number in praise of the Lord Krishna.

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There is a short verse which means – who else is going to be my savior oh God of Gods Shri Krishna or Vasudeva? Come and protect me.

Bhoomi Mangalam

Raga: Revathi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Vedas - Shri Ravi Shankar album "Chants of India"

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Bhoomi mangalam Udaka mangalam
Agni mangalam Vayu mangalam
Gagana mangalam Surya mangalam
Chandra mangalam Jagat Mangalam
Jeeva mangalam Deha mangalam
Mano mangalam Aatma mangalam
Sarvamangalam Bhavatu Bhavatu Bhavatu
Sarvamangalam Bhavatu Bhavatu Bhavatu
Sarvamangalam Bhavatu Bhavatu Bhavatu

May there be tranquillity on earth, on water,
in fire, in the wind,
in the sky, in the sun,
on the moon, on our planet,
in all living beings, in the body,
in the mind and in the spirit.
May that tranquillity be everywhere, and in everyone.

This is a Mantra of Universal Goodwill.. It signifies that may all elements in the Universe be in harmony, goodness, peace and love.

Pavamana Mangalam

Raga: Saurashtram

Tala: Adi

Composer: Saint Thyagaraja (1767-1847)

Choreographer: Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale (1904-1986)

The dancer will now conclude her recital with a Mangalam saluting God, Guru and the audience for making her performance a success.

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