Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by C. Hita.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and C.'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!

C.is 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.

Tam Tam Tam Todayamangalam

Raga: Nattai

Tala: Adi

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: Dhananjayans - contemporary

We commence the event with **Pushpanjali **\- an offering of flowers. This is an item where the Bharatanatyam dancer salutes God, Guru and the audience. We include a verse in praise of Lord Ganesha. The verse goes –

The one who rides on a mouse, who holds sweets in his hand, who has fan like ears, who wears a long sacred thread, who has a short stature , who is the son of Lord Nataraja, and who is the remover of all obstacles, I pray to thee.

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.

Bindumalini Jathiswaram

Raga: Bindumalini

Tala: Adi

Composer: Pramath Kiran and A P Krishna Prasad, our own orchestra members, composed in 2017

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

A Jathiswaram is a song made of only swaras (the 7 basic notes) and jathis (complex beats or talas) to which the dancer dances. It is a pure Nritta piece without any Abhinaya (or facial expression). It is a dance item in which the dancer displays her versatility in elaborate footwork and graceful body movements.

** The dancer performs several adavus (footwork, basic steps) along with 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. A Jathiswaram is composed of at least one SolluKattu (bundle of musical syllables ) and several Korvai’s. When an adavu is set to a particular Thalam (rhythm) and Kalam (tempo) it becomes a Korvai. In a Jathiswaram, several Korvai’s are strung together as beads, concluding in a Theermanam or Muktaya. A Jathiswaram highlights the melody, rhythm and movement in dance. It evokes the harmony and joy of dance in spectators**

Lion and Mouse

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Misra Chapu

Composer: Tamil text provided by Kiruba Geetha Pallav, set by Smt Neela Ramanuja in 2008

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

The story is of the Lion and Mouse. In the forest, there was a lion who was very tired and lay down

under a tree to rest for the evening. A mouse comes by and unwittingly steps on the Lion without seeing it. Disturbed the Lion wakes up and is very angry at the mouse. The mouse begs the Lion’s forgiveness and the Lion is amused and says – ok since you are such a small creature, I will not harm you and lets the mouse escape into its hole. The mouse is very happy and says that I will never forget your kindness and be of help to you some day…

The Lion does not really think he would need the mouse’s help and dismisses him with a wave of his paw..

A hunter comes by and wants to capture the Lion. He wonders how to set up a trap. He finds a wild goat and ties the goat to a tree and attaches a snare. The Lion gets hungry and spots the goat, he makes a move to attack it and finds himself trapped in the net. He gets very dejected when he cannot set himself free.

The mouse chances upon the net and gnaws at it to set the Lion free.

Even small things can have great value!

Bhuvana Sundara Varnam

Raga: Khamaj

Tala: Adi

Composer: Smt. Dwaraki Krishnaswamy Dwaraki Krishnaswamy, renowned Scholar, flautist, composer and published author of Kannada compositions specifically for dance. 1932 to present

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Varnam means color or shades of a color. It also is the elaboration or description of a theme. In Carnatic music, the theme is the raga and the description (or lakshana) and the elaboration (or sanchara) is depicted by a Varnam.

The dance counterpart of the Varnam is the most elaborate and complicated of the Bharatanatyam Margam. It showcases the complexities with all the elements of Nritta, Naatya, Nrittya and Abhinaya. The very nature of this item demands a lot of stamina and concentration from the dancers, pushing their competence to the limit.

The central theme revolves around the Shringara Rasa ( or Shringara-Bhakti Rasa) which usually is love and devotion towards God. This is anthropomorphized in the roles of the Nayaka ( depicting a male God, Krishna here ) and the Nayaki ( pining for the love of God ). In addition, the role of a close friend (tozhi, sakhi) acting as the Nayaki’s messenger is also depicted. The human emotions of love metamorphoses and abstracts into the seeking of truth and God.

In this Varnam, Bhuvana Sundara, the Raas Leela of Radha and Krishna is depicted. The Nayaki (Radha) asks her friend (tozhi, sakhi) to request Bhuvana Sundara ( Krishna, the Nayaka) to come meet her. The nayaki cannot decipher the magical and divine spell cast by the nayaka. She extols the exploits of his various avatars. She recounts his grace in saving the elephant Gajendra from the crocodiles’s grip. And his grace in the form of the drawf Vamana over King Mahabali. She is upset with Krishna as he took away her clothes as she was bathing only to be mesmerized by his music on the flute. She hastens to fetch him water to quench his thirst and ends up seeing someone who looks just like him. Confused she recounts her squabbles with him.



The angst of waiting makes even the cool winds blowing over the Yamuna on a full moon night, warm. The nayaki is mesmerized and lost in the thoughts of Krishna, full of divine music and dance amdist the lively maidens, flowers and birds of Brindavan.

This item is on Krishna ( or Vishnu ), one of the six Gods in our exploratory theme of the margam. Followers of Krishna belong to the Vaishnava tradition of devotional Hinduism. Krishna is known for his Raas Leela which is the Bhakti-Shringara depicted here. He is the most widely worshipped because of his central role in the Mahabharata expounding the Bhagavad Gita.

Para Shakthi Janani Keerthanam

Raga: Hamsadhwani

Tala: Aadi

Composer: Papanasam Sivan, 1890 to 1973

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

** This song is in praise of this Mother Goddess who gives every man ‘Shakthi’ or inner strength and confidence to do his duties in his lifetime. We pray to the Supreme mother to protect us, who is the daughter of the Mountains. Both the devas and Asuras take refuge in your lotus feet and so also, we do oh beautiful one. Wife of Shankara, compassionate one, giver of boons, remover of fears, do save us sister of Maha Vishnu. Oh mother, please bless us and remove the darkness from our heart. Slayer of Mahishasura, dark hued one, rider of the Lion, Ruler of the universe, we bow to you for protection.**

Brindavani Venu Abhang

Raga: Aberi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Sant Bhanudasa, 16th century poet

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Paithan city was famous seat of learning for a long time. In ancient times it was also a prominent commercial town, and home to the Eknath family for generations. Shri Bhanudas was born in shaka1436 (1514 A. D) and was a great grandfather of saint Eknath.

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Shri Bhanudas was a pious and religious person, a faithful and ardent devotee of the Vitthal of Pandharpur. His devotion to that god was once challenged when the King of Vidyanagar came for a visit to Pandharpur. When he saw the exquisite beauty of the idol of Vitthal there, he was fascinated by it and he took away the idol to his own capital. Pandharpur, a place of pilgrimage for the followers of the Varkari cult, became void of life itself! All the saints came to Bhanudas and requested him to bring back the idol of Shri Vitthal, so that the city would again be alive! Shri Bhanudas then promised to do so and by the power of his ardent devotion, he succeeded in bringing back the idol to Pandharpur.

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The story eulogizes Bhanudas as great devotee who was a favourite of God Vitthal. It is really no wonder that a family which had the benediction of so holy a person like Bhanudas was graced by another religious minded person like Eknath within three generations. From Bhanudas to his son Chakrapani and his son, Suryapani.

**The verse goes:**

Who is playing so melodiously on the flute in Brindavan?

The sound of the music is enveloping the Govardhana hill

The peacocks are spreading their wings and

Sit listening and watching Lord Krishna the leader of the Yadavas play the flute in amazement

The cows have forgotten to graze

The cows and tigers are standing next to each other listening to Krishna

The chirping birds have fallen silent

All animals and people have forgotten their enmity

The sound emerging is intensely beautiful

anklets are making matching rhythmic sounds

The Devas in the heavens are watching and praising Lord Krishna

I, Bhanudasa have attained the bliss from Prema Bhakti or devotional love

Brindavani Thillana

Raga: Brindavani

Tala: Adi

Composer: Dr. M Balamurali Krishna, 1930 to 2016

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

**The last item in any Bharatanatyam performance is the Tillana, nritta piece or pure dance. The short verse in this concludes – Oh Lord Krishna, I am in the peak of my youth and approach you to be one with you. Just like milk and water mingle and cannot be separated, I want to be one with you. You play on the flute with your small soft fingers and produce this melodious music so pleasing to my ears, that it makes the whole world happy.**

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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