Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Jothsna Sundar.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Jothsna'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!

Jothsnais 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.

Shanmugapriya Pushpanjali

Raga: Shanmughapriya

Tala: Kandachaapu

Composer: Sri Arunagirinathar (15th century)

Choreographer: null

_One face frolics mounted on the peacock;_

_One face speaks the mystic mantra "Aum" with Lord Siva;_

_One face eradicates the effects of deeds done by devotees who chant your name;_

_One face throws a spear, which pierces the hill called Krauncham;_

_One face annihilated the opposing Suran and His asuric hordes;_

_One face came to marry Valli;_

_Please inform me the mystic significance of the six faces!_

_Oh Primal One! Oh Lord residing at the Hill ThiruvaaNamalai!_

Sri Arunagirinathar behooves the Lord of Thiruvannamalai to describe the significance of 6 faces of Lord Muruga

Mishram Allarippu

Raga: null

Tala: Misrachapu

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: Kalakshetra/Rukmani Devi Arundale

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. Today’s allarippu is set to a count of seven 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.

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!

Simhavahini Srirajeswari Varnam

Raga: Ranjani

Tala: Adi

Composer: Sri Madurai Muralidharan, 1978 to present

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

The Varnam is the 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 presents stories of the Mother Goddess in her forms including Parvathi, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. She is the bestower of courage and confidence in the form of Rajeshwari and Lalitha. She is the bestower of wealth in the form of Lakshmi and blesses us with knowledge in the form of Saraswati.

The detailed meaning is as follows -

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Oh devi who rides on the Lion, Sri Rajeshwari, please bless me, you are the one who dances Tandava with beautiful grace (tandava mohini)

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You remove our obstacles and grace us with your blessings and Oh devi Lalitambikaye. Here we depict the story of the demon Mahishasura who got a blessing from the Gods that he would never die at the hands of man. In arrogance that no woman could ever match his might, he tortured the pious. Lord Bhrama Vishnu and Shiva, combined their powers to invoke the mother Goddess Durga. She manifest s with a thousand arms and challenges and vanquishes Mahishasura.

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The devi who resides in the beautiful red lotus, and one who showers wealth, you are the beloved of Lord Narayana.

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You hold a bejewelled veena, you are adorned with a crescent moon on your forehead

Here we depict the story of Abhirami Bhattar who was an ardent devotee of the Goddess. While he was deep in worship of her, the ruler of the land comes by asking him what the day was? To which he mistakenly replies that it was the full moon day. The king took a customary bath in the River Cauvery on every no moon night or Amavasya. Upon hearing that it was a full moon night, he went back to the palace. Suddenly it dawned up on Bhattar that he had misled the king. Perturbed, he got ready to give up his life by jumping into a fire. But as he raised his eyes to the sky, he saw the full moon just as he had told the king. Unable to believe his eyes, he prays and the Goddess reveals that she had playfully thrown her earring on to the sky just so that his words would not become false thereby protecting his honor and his life.

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in the sacred texts, you are called Uma, who showers everyone with happiness oh dear mother

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You are the bestower of all knowledge of all Arts and the whole world rejoices everyday as they take your sharanam

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The one who was created with the sound of Om .who delights Nataraja

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The anklets on your feet resound as you dance.

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In the form of Goddess Kamakshi, you hold a red sugarcane, you are most unique and hold a trishoolam or trident, bestower of auspiciousness, you are the virgin queen warrior Goddess in the form of Angayarkanni.

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Oh mother, at this time, i seek your blessings, please pay heed to this child’s call with compassion, take my miseries away and come quickly, Oh mother who killed Mahishasura

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When you come the whole world rejoices and when you glance upon the world with your compassionate eyes, the world becomes peaceful. Everyday, your son Ganapathy sings and your other son Muruga dances and your brother Lord Krishna also sings and worship you. Please grant me the satisfying bliss of seeing you at all times **

Azhagu Deivam Kavadi Chindu

Raga: Ananda Bhairavi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Periasamy Thooran

Choreographer: null

This piece is in praise of Lord Muruga--. It says, the handsome God who stands atop the hill of Pazhani, has come to us--. He is the young child of Goddess parvati--. With a lustrous spear--, he went on to win over a horde of demons--. He is the Lord who lives deep inside the cave of our hearts, and showers compassion on his devotees who sing in tamizh-- - a language that is like a pot of excellent nectar--. This noble soul of sterling character is the mentor accepted by the mighty Shiva. He is the one with overflowing grace who assists us kindly, and protects us forever.

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What can I say about the vision of the forms he takes in pazhani--: as a baby--, as a young man--, and as an ascetic recluse dressed in a loincloth--? But I do know that by merely seeing these forms of the Lord, I have gained the ability to defeat all of the shameful deeds that everyone complains about. I will bow down and pray to murugan who is resplendent as a mighty benefactor in this world during kaliyug as he blesses us--, and rejoice as my miseries are dispelled--, and the churn in my heart subsides, so that I can travel the path of righteousness---.

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He is the immaculate being who appears in the temple town of pazhani as a handsome child mounted on a blue peacock--. Sporting a mischievous smile continually on his face--, he is the beloved of the gypsy, vaLLi--. He is ever resplendent in the form of an eternal flame that is never extinguished--, as he protects any and all of his devotees--. He is the one who will not vacate the heart of the composer, and will live there forever.

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The word _kAvadi_ means "burden", Devotees typically perform KAvadi aaTTam to implore Lord [Murugan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murugan) for assistance, usually on behalf of a loved one who is in need of healing. Diksha would like to dedicate this piece to her pAtti who flew from India even though her health is poor.

Natanam Adinar

Raga: Vasantha

Tala: Ata

Composer: Gopalakrishna Bharati (1810-1896)

Choreographer: Sugandha Sreenath

The Keerthanam “Natanam Adinar” describes the blissful dance of Lord Shiva. It is a celebration of Shiva, the cosmic dancer who balances creation and destruction. The references to the story of Agastya, Chidambaram and the Sollukattu swaras makes this dance energizing and majestic.
Lord Nataraja danced in style and joy, in the golden halls of temple.

As promised, at Mount Kailash, at the request of sages,
HE came to Chidambaram in the Tamil month of Tai (December-January) during the Guru Poosam star and danced during the day.

He danced with the eight directions trembling, Serpent Adhisesha’s head(hood) rocking, the Earth shaking and drops of Ganges trickling from his matted knot of hair.

(Gopalakrishna sang with love).

Lord Shiva’s matted tresses swayed to the rhythm of his dance, so did the hoods of snakes adorned by him.

Lalitha Lavanga Ashtapadi

Raga: Bahar

Tala: Adi

Composer: Jayadeva (1170-1245)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Ashtapadis are composed by Shri Jayadeva in Sanskrit. In this expressive piece, we describe the state of the lovelorn gopis who are immersed in the madhurya rasa bhakti (highest expression of divine love. In the beautiful setting of Brindavan, there is a cool gentle breeze that caresses the creepers and makes them sway. Bees float around clusters of flowers and songbirds fill the air with harmony. Radha is looking anxiously for Krishna. Her friend tells her that Krishna is dancing merrily with the gopis, whose hearts are filled with love for him. He blesses them by fulfilling their wishes.

Some of the gopis who look for their lovers feel bashful and try to hide their feelings. Others are so lovelorn that they cannot hide their feelings and eagerly await their loved one. The beautiful spear shaped jasmine flowers torment these gopis. The gopis feel that the flowers pierce their

hearts instead of soothing them. Other flowers look at them and laugh at them for being in such a pitiable state of separation.

Madhuvanthi Thillana

Raga: Madhuvanthi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Sri. Lalgudi G Jayaraman 1930-2013

Choreographer: M. Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

**This is a fast and lively dance, which traditionally concludes a Bharathanatyam recital. It is in praise of Lord Krishna.
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**It is accompanied by a short verse that says ―I thought of you everyday and yearned for you. My love, you are the one who stole my heart. I will never be apart from you again.‖ **

Special Item - NEW

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Composer:

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Description

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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