Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Saipranati Prakash.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Saipranati'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!

Saipranatiis 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.

Jhem Jhem Thanana

Raga: Aarabi

Tala: Aadi

Composer: Dr. M Balamurali Krishna (1930-2016)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

We commence with 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 –

To the one who is with me from the beginning to the end, through my learning to that Ganapathy, I fold my hands and pray, remover of obstacles, embodiment of all good qualities, leader of the Ganas, 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.

Kalyani Ragamalika Jathiswaram

Raga: Ragamalika - Kalyani, Thodi, Begada, Atana, Suruti

Tala: Misrachapu

Composer: Swati Tirunal

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.

Sita Shabdham

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Misra Chapu

Composer: Dr. Ramanuja

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Shabdham is an item that introduces expressive dance and story telling (abhinaya). This shabdham is about Sita.

When king Janaka’s men were ploughing the fields, they hit a hard object and on investigating it, found a box. When they opened the box, to their surpise they found a baby girl. She was taken to the King and was adopted by him to be his dearest beautiful daughter Seeta.

One day Sita, now a young maiden, was playing ball with her friends. The ball flew out of the palace garden and a handsome prince- Lord Rama - brought it back to her. As he handed it to her, their eyes met.

Meanwhile, King Janaka decided that the time was right for Sita to be given in marriage.

He invited all the powerful kings, including Ravana, to Sita’s swayamvara. He challenged the assesmbled kings to lift and string Lord Siva’s mighty bow, stating that the one who could do so would marry Sita.

After many suitors tried and failed, Lord Rama lifted the bow as if it was a garland of flowers, strung it and broke it into two, causing it to resound like thunder.

All the kings and rishis came together in Mithila to witness the wedding of Rama and Sita. Beautiful Sita exchanges garlands with Rama and weds him.

Maate Varnam

Raga: Khamas

Tala: Adi

Composer: Shri Harikeshanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

**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's primary premise is Bhakti or devotion.

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I now invite Saatvika to stage to explain the hands so you may understand it better.

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The Goddess mother is praised in this song and described

as the one who was born as the daughter of the king of the mountains, and

as the daughter of the King of the Pandyas in South India.

She is also described as the Mother of Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga.

The goddess grew up to be a warrior. She was well versed in horse riding and handling different weapons.

She was crowned as the queen of the Pandya Kingdom and conquered all the neighboring kingdoms. She then had the desire to venture to Northern India and conquer Mt. Kailash.- the abode of Lord Shiva. But as soon as she sets her eyes on the Lord, she is overcome by shyness. The Lord proposes to her and she marries him.

The Goddess is also described as one with a slender waist, wife of Lord Shankar or Shiva, the one who slayed the demons-- Chanda and Munda, the one who adorns a crescent moon and who is the mother of the whole World.

We depict the story of how she vanquished the demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura got a boon from the Gods that he would only be killed by a woman, and committed atrocities in the world confident that no woman would be able to match his might. Lord Bhrama, Vishnu and Shiva combine their powers and the Mother Goddess manifests in the form of Durga.

She has a 16 arms and each one holds a weapon. She fights a terrible battle with Mahishasura and vanquishes him.

The Goddess is also described as the giver of knowledge of arts, promoter of equanimity among men and women, giver of the simplicity of thoughts, words and action.

She is the inspiration for beautiful music, creator of the peaceful feeling in our hearts, and the reason for us to appreciate the beauty in everything.

The one who slayed Mahishasura, she was always protective of the ruling King,

In the second half of the varnam the Goddess is called Shyame - or beautiful the dark hued one, protector and the center of the whole universe.

Sriman Narayana Keerthanam

Raga: Bhoopalam

Tala: Adi

Composer: Sri Annamacharya - 14th Century Poet

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

This Song describes the beautiful form of Lord Vishnu. The motif of lotus is used extensively in this song. The lotus flower is significant in Hindu literature. Lord Brahma is said to have been born from the lotus rising out of Lord Vishnu's navel. It symbolizes creation and spiritual realization. It also represents purity, in that, the spirits of the best of men and the Gods are likened to lotus flower because the bud often rises out of unclean waters to blossom into a pure and clean flower. It is also used to symbolize beauty and love.

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Oh Narayana, I seek shelter at your auspicious feet.

Your wife Kamala or Goddess Lakshmi is the one who is seated on a lotus.

Your beautiful face is like the lotus flower and you lovingly tend to the lotus plants.

Your eyes are also like the lotus flower.

Shiva Shiva

Raga: Pantuvaraali

Tala: Adi

Composer: Thyagaraja (1767-1847)

Choreographer: Avijit Das

The next piece is a solo by Sruthi.

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The poet pleads - Mortals ! Why do you not rid yourselves of the trials and tribulations of life by chanting the name of SIVA repeatedly ?

Root out KAAMA-lust and other vile infections on the mind, eschew the desire for women and other’s wealth, rid yourself of ignorance and worship Siva with Bilva leaves

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Associate with righteous men, regard them as gods and not giving any room to any shyness, worship Siva in the lotus of your heart with abandon and chant the holy name

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Chanting the VEDAs, extol the Lord.

Avoid all fruitless talk and in the company of noble devotees, indulge in chanting the name of the Lord and singing His glory. Knowing that SIVA is the Lord whom this TYAGARAJA bows down to, chant the name of SIVA eternally!

Lakshmi Narasimha - NEW

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Kathanakuthukalam Thillana

Raga: Kathanakuthukalam

Tala: Adi

Composer: Dr. M Balamurali Krishna (1930-2016)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

The Thillana is the last item in the performance, before the Mangalam. This is a rhythmic Nritta piece consisting of complex footwork and captivating poses. A thillana uses Jatis as rhythmic phrases with a little shlokam in the end. It includes Pallavi, AnuPallavi and Charanam. It starts from eye movements, followed by several Mai Adavus set to Pallavi. Then several Korvais (sets of Adavus) are performed set to Pallavi and AnuPallavi. Usi Adavu is a characteristic movement in Thillanas, where a dancer covers the stage by a quick sequence of movements. Thillanas are derived from Tri-Thillanas, consisting of catchy swara patterns, with saahitya containing both Jatis (SolaKattus) and words, set to madhyama kaalam tempo.

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The short verse in this Thillana describes the devotee's happiness at watching Lord Krishna's bright face and lips. Krishna's playing on the flute brings so much happiness to her heart that it causes her to burst into a rejoicing dance.

Special Item - NEW

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