Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Manasvi Rallabhandi.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Manasvi'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!

Manasviis 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.

Godha Kauthuvam

Raga: Bhoopalam

Tala: Adi

Composer: Smt. Neela Ramanuja and Dr. Ramanuja, 2008

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Kauthuvam is an item where a poem is first recited and then sung. It is typically performed as one of the opening items and is the first item where abhinaya or expressive dance is first introduced in the performance. In the piece presented today, the poem is in praise of the female devotee of Lord Krishna – Sri Andal (also known as Godha or Kodhai or Nachiyaar). Lord Krishna is also referred to as Ranganatha,



Godha is described as the daughter of the earth who was found near the tusli plant by the priest Vishnuchittar. She is described as the one who gives both material and spiritual bliss and the one who loves Lord Ranganatha.



When Godha strung together the flower garland for the Lord, she tried it on first. When her father Vishnuchittar goes on to offer it, he finds a hair in it. He is angry and questions Godha. The Lord himself is said to have given vision to Vishnuchittar to explain Godha was Goddess Lakshmi’s incarnate and that the Lord liked the garland just the way it was. The verse ends by saying that the deity of Sri Andal is often found near the Lord of Medicines – Dhanvi in the temples.



In the month of Dhanur when all the Gopis are engaged in worshipping Krishna, Sri Andal also does the same. She sees the vision of the Lord arriving with a 1000 elephants and taking her to be his bride. She also dreams of making an offering of a 1000 vessels filled with milk to him.



Sri Andal is the sister of Shri Ramanujacharya. She takes pity on the devotees who are eager to see Lord Krishna. On the birthday of Lord Krishna, she promises to deliver all the devotees of the Lord. Anyone who reads or hears this poem will be blessed by Shri Andal.



She is present along with Lord Krishna at all the 108 divya deshams or holy shrines of worship.

Gokulambudhi Chandra Sundara Shabdam

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Misrachapu

Composer: Tanjore Quartet (early 19th century)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Shabdam is an item where a poem is interpreted. In the piece presented today, the hero of the Shabdam is Lord Krishna. Krishna is described as the cowherd living in Gokul who has a beautiful moon like face. As the night approaches, flowers close, birds return to their nests, the cows graze the fields and return to rest. The heroine lights up a lamp and looks up at the moon and finds Krishna's face just as beautiful. She goes on to describe his soft beautiful smile and flower like face. She waits for him and is upset he is late and ends with a prayer to the Lord.

Samba Shivaya

Raga: Khamas

Tala: Adi

Composer: Cinnakrishna Daasar

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

This item is the center piece of a Bharatanatyam recital and is akin to standing in the inner sanctorum of a temple shrine or eating the main course of a meal. The dance is interwoven with complex rhythmic patterns.

The song describes the beautiful form of Lord Shiva, He is the “SambaShiva” or the embodiment of all happiness who lives on the silver snow mountains of Kailash.

We also describe Shiva person who won Shambhavi or Goddess Parvathi’s heart. Goddess Parvathi took birth as the daughter of King Himavan. She was walking in the mountains and sees Shiva in deep meditation. She is moved by his majestic form and meditative calmness and immediately falls in love. She makes him a garland of flowers but is afraid that she will break his meditation. She devotedly comes back each day and hopes that he comes out of meditation.

She thinks he will get hungry and brings him fruits to eat but he does not open his eyes. Then she takes to meditating herself. But still Shiva does not open his eyes… Out of frustration, she goes to her father. Himavan says that there is no way to wake Shiva but to seek the help of the God of Love – Kamadeva. He summons him and requests him to shoot a flower arrow at Shiva. He thinks that on seeing Parvathi’s beautiful form, Shiva will fall in love. Kamadeva is reluctant to shoot at Shiva because he knows that Shiva is going to get very angry.



Yet, he does so. Shiva is very angry at Kamadeva and burns him to ashes. He again goes back into meditation. Parvathi realizes that the only way to win Shiva is by meditation. In all seriousness, she goes on to fast and meditate. Shiva is moved by Parvathi’s devotion and decides to test her for the last time. He appears before her in the garb of an old man. He tells her – why are you meditating upon Shiva? He has matted hair, wears the tiger’s skin and smears ash on his body. He has all these snakes around his neck and hands… Parvathi is enraged by this and threatens to curse the old man for talking ill about the one she loves. Shiva reveals himself and takes her to be one with him.

Shiva is the Supreme God and Guru and the dancers pray that they worship at his feet at all times.

Highly benevolent, treasure trove of compassion, never leave my heart, so that I may never forget you, Oh Mahadeva, beautiful one, giver of boons to the Devas, remover of fears and sorrow. Here we recount the story of Markandeya.

[Mrikandu](http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mrikandu&action=edit&redlink=1) rishi and his wife [Marudmati](http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Marudmati&action=edit&redlink=1) worshipped Shiva and sought from him the boon of begetting a son. As a result he was given the choice of either a gifted son, but with a short life on earth or a child of low intelligence but with a long life. Mrikandu rishi chose the former, and was blessed with Markandeya, an exemplary son, destined to die at the age of 16.

Markandeya grew up to be a great [devotee](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhakta) of Shiva and on the day of his destined death he continued his worship of Shiva in his form of [Shivalingam](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingam) by making the Lingam out of sand on the beach. The messengers of Yama, the [god](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deva_\(Hinduism\)) of death were unable to take away his life because of his great devotion and continual worship of Shiva. Yama then came himself in person to take Markandeya's life away and sprung his noose around the young sage's neck. By accident of fate the noose mistakenly landed around the Shivalingam, and out of it, Shiva emerged in all his fury attacking Yama for his act of aggression. After defeating Yama in battle to the point of death, Shiva then revived him, under the condition that the devout youth would live [forever](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortality). For this act, Shiva was thereafter known also as Kaalakalaya, meaning 'one who
brought death, to death himself'.

The consort of Goddess Meenakshi who lives in the temple of Madurai, giver of boons, I always think of you.

Doer of good, wearer of the cresent moon, destroyer of Tripura.

Three demons kamalAkshan, tArukAkshan, vidhunmAli got a boon from the Lord that they can not be destroyed unless all three of them come together, and attacked by a single arrow. Then they created forts in different areas and ruled the world. dEvAs who were disturbed by them complained it to the Lord. But Lord Shiva said as long as the three demons pray Him He won't destroy them. So mahA vishNu took the form of a sage, and taught the three demons mAyAvAtham, resulting them to stop praying the Lord, praising themselves and torturing dEvAs. Since all the good qualities of them were lost the Lord came for the destruction of the purAs.

Chinna Krishna Dasar who is the composer of this Swarajathi ends with loving devotion prayer that the sweet name of the Lord be with him always.

Rusali Radha

Raga: Misra Yaman

Tala: Adi

Composer: Rangeshwar

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

In this beautiful short poem, the poet describes the mood in Gokul when Radha is angry with Lord Krishna. As a result of them being cross with each other, everyone in Gokul is also in an angry mood. All the gopis are also angry, the plants are angry, the creepers are angry at the supporting trees, the trees shed their leaves, the bees come to flowers and the flowers close their petals to them, the poet wonders, how long is this fight going to last? He laments, how everyone is upset because Krishna and Radha are angry with each other. Can some one tell me how long this is going to continue?

The fight between Krishna and Radha is not described in the poem but left to the imagination of the dancer. Radha goes to meet her beloved Lord Krishna secretly in the forest. After looking for Krishna for some time, she begins to wonder where he was as he was late. She follows a sound and to her astonishment and disgust she finds Krishna with the other gopis. Krishna protests and says that he had not done anything wront, and was not to blame as the gopis had lured him there. But RAdha is in no mood to listen to him.

She became so angry that she told Krishna she was not going to speak with him. Krishna decides that two can play the same game, and he too was not going to talk to Her. With both of them not talking to each other, the whole of the village of Gokula is drawn into the tiff.

Radha then gets angry with all the gopis because of what had happened that night. So she decides to teach them a lesson the next day. One young gopi dresses herself beautifully and walks out of her house very happily to meet Krishna, when Radha throws mud at her. She tells the weeping gopi that she is not allowed to see Krishna. A while later, another gopi is found picking flowers from a tree and making a garland for Lord Krishna. The jealous Radha sneaks up behind the gopi and ties her hair to the tree. She then snatches the flower garland from her and throws it away.

Bala Kanakamaya

Raga: Atana

Tala: Adi

Composer: Saint Tyagaraja (1767-1847)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

BAla! One adorned with rich garments! O Protector of the virtuous! O joy of Lakshmi! Wielder of arrows! Bestower of auspiciousness! Treasure of companion! O cloud like hued! O adorned with vanamAla! O DEva among the celestials! Come. One with great reputation! O Lotus-eyed! Come. One belonging to the solar race! One who is surrounded by those whose hearts are filled with nectar! One who is as majestic as the ocean! O Destroyer of Asuras! One as beautiful as Cupid! One who converses with the wise! Essence of all the VEdas!

******
**

You are the King of Kings, your feet are praised by sages; sun and moon are your eyes, you bestow refuge, most beautiful, praised by Siva who adorsn crescent , you have Garuda the king of birds as your vehicle, Your feet are praised by DEvendra, father or Brahma, who shines like a crore of suns, you are like lion to the elephant of demons, your face is like the lotus. O Lord, why does your grace elude me?

**
You are the Protector of YAgas, praised by righteous men, meditated upon by ascetics. You are permanent without beginning or end, recline upon AdiSesha, bestower of boons to GAjEndra, decked wit the Punnaga flower, remover of sins forever, your feet held by AnjanEya, the son of VAyu. You are the subject of scriptures and you are desireless. O Lord, why does your grace elude me? Lord! Your grace still eludes me. I dread the prospect of your abandoning me forever. Is not this the right moment to protect me? **

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.**

Thaya Malika Thillana

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Adi

Composer: Sri Balamurali Krishna 1930 to 2016

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

****The thillana is typically a concluding item in any dance recital. The short verse in this Thillana describes the devotee's happiness at Lord Krishna's mastery on playing on the flute not only in this world but all worlds. To this Lord, the devotee offers a garland of ‘Ragas’ or musical scales in the form of this composition.****

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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