Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Prisha 2022.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Prisha'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!

Prishais 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.

New Pushpanjali - NEW

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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!

Ramayana Varnam

Raga: Desh

Tala: Adi

Composer: Dwarki Mami, Bangalore

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

The Varnam is the central and most elaborate item presented in any Bharatanatyam repertoire. It includes complex rhythymic passages along with interpretive dance and stories supporting the main idea of the lyrics

This Varnam is steeped in devotion and Bhakthi is primary Rasa in the lyrics. The devotees start out by stating that whenever Ram Katha is recited there is beauty and ecstasy.

The first son of King Dasharatha, Ram was the favorite prince of the citizens of Ayodhya. His holy name was equivalent of visiting several places of worship.

The sancharis take the viewers through the Balakandam where Sage Vishwamitra takes Rama and his brother Lakshmana to the forest to kill demon Tataki. Rama also gives salvation to Ahalya and participates in the Sita Swamvara and wins her hand in marriage by lifting Shiva's mighty now quite easily.

In the Ayodhya Kandam, queen Kakeyi's ears are poisoned by her hand maid Manthara because her son PRince Bharatha is not going to be crowned king but instead her step son Prince Rama was to be coronated.

Jealous, queen Kaikeyi removes her jewels, throws a fit and invokes the two boons that Her husband King Dasharatha had bestowed upon her. She successfully asks Rama to leave the kingdom of Ayodhya and live in the forest for 14 years and makes plans for Bharatha to rule

Rama leaves seeking his parents blessings. Lakshmana and Seeta accompany him.

In Aranya Kandam, Seeta spots a beautiful deer but alas it is demon Mareecha in disguise. She sends Rama after him. But worries for his safety when the trickster Mareecha calls out to her when he dies struck by Rama's arrow. She hears the cries and thinks Rama is in trouble and sends Lakshmana after him. Lakshmana draws a protective line and requests her not to cross it.

Demon king Ravana arrives in the garb of an old man. Seeta immediately pays her respects to him and gives him alms. Ravana tactfully makes Seeta cross over the protective line drawn by Lakshmana and abducts her to Lanka

In the Kishkinda kanda, Rama searches in vain for Seeta and befriends Hanuman in Sundara Kandam. Hanuman takes Rama's ring and delivers it as a sign when he spots Seeta in the Ashoka forest in Lanka. He takes her hair ornament back to Rama and tells him her where abouts

In the Yuddha Kandam, Sugreeva, hanuman and the monkey army build a bridge to Lanka. Rama and Lakshmana kill Ravana and free Seeta. Ravana's younger brother Vibheeshana is appointed as King of Lanka.

Seeta and Rama are re-United.

All glories be to Rama and Govinda the incarnations of the Supreme!! Do sing with us one and all !!

Praying to Rama does not require any expensive articles of worship. You don't need elaborate preparations or austerities. Mere chanting will do.

In our everyday activities, Rama graces us with such pleasure. Everything become enjoyable like flowers.

The famous Muslim poet Kabir says that the mouth that does not chant the name of Rama would be filled with dust.

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All glories to Rama and Seeta !!**

Shiva tandavam - NEW

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Shankara Sri Giri

Raga: Hamsanandi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Maharaja Swati Tirunal

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

**This dance is to glorify the Lord of Dance - Shiva. He is described as the dancing God living on Mount Kailash who is ever present in devotees hearts and minds. Wearer of ash, with the third eye, wearer of rudrakshas, he is surrounded by Ghosts and dances with them. Lord Shiva's bells make a sound as he dances and all the Devas and Sages (Muni) and other celestial beings watch on from the heavens. The Lord dances to various rythyms and percussion instruments, he is also ever present in the heart of Lord Padmanabha or Lord Krishna. **

Meera Bhajan - Jo Tum Todo Piya

Raga: Sindubhairavi

Tala: Eka

Composer: Meerabhai 1498 to 1546

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Jo Tum Todo Piya is a beautiful bhajan or devotional song sung by Meerabhai in praise of Lord Krishna.

Meera says – My beloved, even if you let me go, I will not let you go. .

If I am separated from you, who would I be with?

If you are a tree, I would be your leaf.

If you are a lake, I would be a fish in it.

If you are a hill, I would be the cow that grazes on it.

If you are the moon, I would be the Chakora bird who stares at the full moon without any distraction.

If you are a bead, I would be the thread that strings you, and if you are gold, I would be your luster .

You are my Lord who lives in Vrajabhumi and I am your servant.

Saraswati Padam - NEW

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Dhanashri Thillana

Raga: Dhanashree

Tala: Adi

Composer: Maharaja Swati Tirunal (1813-1846)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

**The last item in any Bharatanatyam performance is the Tillana and is mainly a nritta piece or pure dance number in praise of Lord Krishna dancing with the gopis to the sounds of different musical instruments. There is a short verse which means – the gopis are dancing wearing their anklets, as the musical instruments play, there is sweet sound as they dance. Oh Lord Padumanabha, what can I say about all your different pastimes, remover of my sorrows, I bow at your feet. Radha looks for Krishna at the appointed hour when he says he will come. He comes late but she is delighted when he arrives and joins in the dance.**

Special Items - NEW

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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.

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