Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Mrinali Gangadhar.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Mrinali'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!

Mrinaliis 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.

Charukesi Pushpanjali

Raga: Charukesi

Tala: Khanda Ekam

Composer: Shri N. Ravi and Neela Ramanuja

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Pushpanjali is a traditional dance offering, a salutation with flowers to God, to seek blessings for a successful dance performance. The dancers also seek the blessings of their Guru, the orchestra, and the audience. The shlokam, in praise of Lord Ganesha, describes his beautiful form with an elephantine face. We depict the story where Ganesha’s parents, Lord Shiva and Parvati, hold a competition between him and his younger brother, Lord Karthikeya. They both would compete for a prize: a mango (fruit of wisdom). The first person to go around the world would win the mango. Lord Karthikeya immediately climbs on his peacock and flies around the world. But his wiser brother, Lord Ganesha, does a short walk around his parents and claims the fruit saying that they mean the world to him.

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.

Vasantha Jathiswaram

Raga: Vasantha

Tala: Roopakam

Composer: Tanjore Quartet, early 19th century

Choreographer: Kalakshetra

"Jathiswaram" is a pure dance presentation, devoid of any abhinaya (emotions). 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.

Naada Bindu - Tirupugazh

Raga: null

Tala: null

Composer: null

Choreographer: null

(9)Praises to Him, Who is beyond sound, time and space;Praises to Him, Who is the quintessence of the Veda mantras;Praises to Him, Who is the Lord of jnanis (sages)! – Thousands of prostrations to Thee!
Praises to Him, Who is the son of Shambhu (Shiva);Praises to Him, Who protects the internal bliss;Praises to Him, Who rides on the peacockAnd controls the snake of the sense-vasanas of the devotees! – O Conqueror of the Asuras!
Praises to Him, Who wields the “vel’ (spear) in his hands;Praises to Him, Whose anklets produce melodious sound;Praises to Him, Who is the hero of great valour! – Master of theMountains! [All the famous temples of Lord Subramanya are on top of hills.]
Praises to Him, Who is present in light offerings;Praises to Him, Who dances in the hearts of devotees;Praises to Him, Who has Devayani by His side! – Please bestow grace and bliss!
Doing charity and many grand worships,Chanting, having a good nature and ethical standards,Feeling for others and service to the Preceptor! – Let us not forget this!
All the seven worlds praise the Chola Kingdom fed by the River Cauvery. There, in the city of Vayalur, You adorn the TempleLike a King, enchanting the hearts of all.
In those days, the saint Ārōrar rode on the white elephant,While his friend, the Chera King, followed him on his horse! –Both taking the air route reached Mt. Kailash!
On Mt. Kailash, the Chera King sang the hymn Ādi Andavula:“This King’s kingdom is Kongu Vaikavur.In that kingdom, in the town Āvinangudi,You are adorning the Temple! – as the God of gods!”
Praises to Him, Who is present in light offerings;Praises to Him, Who dances in the hearts of devotees;Praises to Him, Who has Devayani by His side! – Please bestow grace and bliss!

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.

Suddha Nrittam

Raga: Hindolam (Viruttam)

Tala: Adi

Composer: V R Chandrashekar (contemporary)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

**Viruttam: Goddess Durga is represented, she who destroyed the Demons Chanda and Munda, glory to her Kamakoti or followers. “You, my divine Mother, are the winner of all the battles that you undertook in the three worlds; please bless me!” Shuddha Nrittam (pure dance): This is presented in jugalbandi or a question answer format. The nattuvanar (vocalist) poses the question in the form of a jathi (beats) and the dancer and drummer jointly answer through the dance.**

Gummana

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Adi

Composer: Purandara Dasa (1484-1564)

Choreographer: M. Subhashini Santhanam

This playful number describes Lord Krishna as a little boy, who is scared of the Gummuna or fictitious “monster” in his room. Like most mothers, Yashoda uses the Gummuna or “poochandi”or “Boochivaadu” to frighten her son into good behavior.

Krishna pleads with his mother not to call Gummuna, In return, he promises that he will be on his best behavior from now on. I will sit here quietly. I promise to eat all my food without crying. I won’t blindfold the girls any more. I won’t hit the little boys and I won’t argue with my brother. I don’t want butter any more and I won’t eat mud any more. I won’t even run out to the well and play on it. I won’t play with the udders of the cows or let the calves go. I will sit here like a god and be very good. Mother Yashoda and the gopis listen to all his promises and become happy at hearing his words.Oh, Purandara Vittala, no matter what you do, we still love you!

Hanuman Katha

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Adi

Composer: Tulsidas (1532–1623)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

The Hanuman Chalisa is a[ Hindu](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism) devotional hymn addressed to[ Hanuman](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanuman). It is traditionally believed to have been authored by[ Tulsidas](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsidas) in the[ Awadhi](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awadhi) language and is his best known text apart from the[ Ramcharitmanas](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramcharitmanas).

Hanuman is a[ vanara](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanara) (a[ monkey](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey)-like humanoid deity), a devotee of[ Rama](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama), and one of the central characters in the[ Sanskrit epic](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_epic)[ Ramayana](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramayana). We depict some verses from the Chalisa today.

We begin with the storyteller or Kathakar offering obeisance to the Guru. “Cleansing the mirror in the form of my mind with the pollen of the lotus-feet of the Guru, I describe the unblemished glory of Rama, which bestows the four fruits.” This piece is presented in three parts.

Part 1 depicts the many virtuous qualities of Hanuman including his beautiful luminous form and his might in using the mace as his choice of weapon.

Part 2 depicts his meeting with Lord Rama and his devotion to help find Sita including hand off Lord Rama’s ring as a sign to her.

Part 3 depicts Hanuman’s role in finding the Sanjeevani plant when Laksmana faints after receiving a blow from Ravana’s son Indrajit.

All glories to Rama, Sita and Hanuman!

Misra Ranjani Thillana

Raga: Hindolam

Tala: Adi

Composer: K N Dandayudapani Pillai

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

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