Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Shambhavi B..

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Shambhavi'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!

Shambhaviis 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.

Tam Tam Tam Todayamangalam

Raga: Nattai

Tala: Adi

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: Dhananjayans - contemporary

We commence the event with **Pushpanjali **\- 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 –

The one who rides on a mouse, who holds sweets in his hand, who has fan like ears, who wears a long sacred thread, who has a short stature , who is the son of Lord Nataraja, and who is the remover of all obstacles, I pray to thee.

Khandam Alarippu

Raga: null

Tala: Khandachapu

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

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 performed to a count of five beats.

Bindumalini Jathiswaram

Raga: Bindumalini

Tala: Adi

Composer: Pramath Kiran and A P Krishna Prasad, our own orchestra members, composed in 2017

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

A Jathiswaram is a song made of only swaras (the 7 basic notes) and jathis (complex beats or talas) to which the dancer dances. It is a pure Nritta piece without any Abhinaya (or facial expression). It is a dance item in which the dancer displays her versatility in elaborate footwork and graceful body movements.

** The dancer performs several adavus (footwork, basic steps) along with 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. A Jathiswaram is composed of at least one SolluKattu (bundle of musical syllables ) and several Korvai’s. When an adavu is set to a particular Thalam (rhythm) and Kalam (tempo) it becomes a Korvai. In a Jathiswaram, several Korvai’s are strung together as beads, concluding in a Theermanam or Muktaya. A Jathiswaram highlights the melody, rhythm and movement in dance. It evokes the harmony and joy of dance in spectators**

Sarasi Jakshulu Shabdam

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Misrachapu

Composer: Vadivelu of the Tanjore Quartet - early 19th century

Choreographer: Kalakshetra

The Shabhdam is an item where Abhinaya is first introduced in a Bharathanatyam performance. This Shabdham is about Lord Krishna. The Gopi is addressing him asking how is it fair for him to come and steal the silk sarees of bathing maidens and hang them out of reach high up on the trees? Is it fair to watch us helpless she argues.

She asks him if he thinks of himself as wise to have spied on her and noted the exact spot where she had placed her pots of churned butter on the attic and come after it when hungry to break and drink up all her buttermilk?

Further, she says, you are the consort of the Great Goddess Lakshmi who is the essence of all beauty and prosperity. Does it look nice that you come and play pranks on the poor cowherd women of this small village?

She finally says, i concede that I really do cherish that you come after me and hide my sarees and take my butter. I wish to always see you and all the people in the village too always want to talk about you, joke and laugh with you. We miss you when you go and hide yourself in the neighboring beautiful hill Oh Lord Padmanabha. We bow to you, please do come back and bless us.

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.

**
All glories to Rama and Seeta !!**

Nandi sol and Ardhanareeshwaram kriti

Raga: Kumudakriya

Tala: Adi

Composer: Mridangist Vidwan V R Chandrashekar and Muthuswamy Deekshitar

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

In the next dance, we represent the Supreme cosmic dancer, the Lord of Dance – Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva rides on a bull named Nandi who also plays on the drums. Rhythmic syllables or Nandisol are used to represent his majestic joyful dance. His serene form as he rides the bull Nandi and his joy when playing the drum or Damaru are shown. He is also depicted holding the scorching pot of fire, wearing snakes around his arms and neck, wearing the crescent moon, holding Ganga in his matted locks and letting her flow gently on to the earth, holding the Trident, with his third eye on his forehead, slaying the wrong doers and holding the skull in the form of a begging bowl, wearing the elephant skin – gaja charmi , wearing the Tiger skin, using the burnt embers to smear himself with the white ash, and the deer representing the ego of mankind. All of this is strung together with his tandavam dance. In an attempt to put to practical use the principles laid out in Bharata’s Natya shastra or the
treatise on which all Indian

dance is based, we have used the 7 different types of turns or Bhramaris in this dance. They are * Utplutabhramari - Divya will demo – we will not talk thru this piece - With Samapaada Sthanaka, jump & turn around * Chakrabhramari - Hold tripataka hasta in both the hands and turn around while dragging the legs on the floor * Garudabhramari - Keep one of the knees on the ground, stretch the other leg and turn around * Ekapaadabhramari - Stand on one leg and turn around with the other * Kunchitabhramari - Jump and turn around folding the legs up * Aakaashabhramari - Jump , spread the legs apart and turn around * Angabhramari - Keep the legs 12 inch apart and turn the body around This is our understanding of how the Bhramaris are to be executed. If there is a mistake in our interpretation, we request the scholars in the audience to please guide us.

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In the second part of the dance, we pay our salutations to Ardhanariswaram. The story goes that Sage Brhngu would only worship Lord Shiva.

While Parvati was happy that he was praying to her husband, she was angry that he would not pray to her. So she took away her energy or Shakti from his body. Sage Bhrngu became very weak and appealed to Lord Shiva. The Supreme dancer took pity on Sage Bhrngu and gave him a stick to stand up with. The Sage is happy and starts praying to only Shiva again. Parvathi gets very angry and meditates upon Shiva herself. When Shiva is appeased with her prayers, he takes her to be one with him – Ardhanariswarar. We bow to that Ardhanari manifestation to whom – the sages – Atri, Bhrgu, Vasistha also worshipped. In the mid day, his Alankara or the gorgeous dressed up form is so beautiful, it has a very pleasing effect on the devotees. It causes the eyes to feast on the beautiful form and the heart to rejoice with the meditative calmness. We depict Shiva with his tiger skin, snakes and ash and Parvathi with her beautiful garments, necklace and sindoor. Pleasing to Parvati you are our savior and

remover of fears – abhaya. Wearer of snake garlands, rider of the bull Nandi, from the core of my being, the poet and the dancer, pray to your feet, enjoyer of the Kumudakriya raga, who is in praise since the Agamas, endless Vedas praise, devas in the heavens pray, to that Ardhanari Lord who glows in red like the fire.

Shambhavi B. 2021 Keerthanam - NEW

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Ramachandra Kripalu

Raga: Yamuna Kalyani

Tala: Misra Chapu

Composer: Saint Tulsidas, 16th Century poet

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Rāma is more beautiful than that all the lotuses in the pond. He is the ideal King who was willing to even separate from his wife Sita to follow the law of the land that dictated that a woman who had stayed under the roof of another man could no longer go back to her husband. Knowing fully well that Sita is guileless, he controls his own feelings and tells her she is free to go anywhere she wishes after he kills Ravana and rescues her from Lanka. Sita requests Lakshmana to build a pyre and emerges unscathed. Rāma reunited with her following everyone hearing a celestial voice that commands their union. The people of Ayodhya are ecstatic that their King Rama returns to their kingdom and celebrate and crown him King.

**
We revere Shri Ramachandra, who removes 'Bhava' the worldly sorrow or pain, 'Bhaya' the fear, and 'Daruna' the scarcity or poverty.
Rāma has fresh lotus eyes, lotus face and lotus hands, feet like lotus and like the rising sun. His beauty exceeds innumerable Kaamdevs (Cupids). He is like a newly formed beautiful blue cloud. The yellow robe on his body appears bright like lightening. He is the consort of the daughter of Sri Janak (Sri Sita), the embodiment of sacredness. He is the lord of solar dynasty and protects the downtrodden. He is the destroyer of demons adevils and their race.
He is a descendant of Sri Raghu. He gives joy to Ayodhya like a moon. He is the son of Sri Dashrath. He wears crown on his head, kundala or ornaments on his ear and tilak (crimson mark) on his forehead and other beautiful adornments.
His powerful arms reach his knees. He holds a bow and an arrow and emerged victorious in the battle with demons Khar and Dushan. Thus says Sri Tulsidas –the one who is pleasing to Lord Shiv, Sri Shesh and saints, reside in the lotus of my heart and destroy evil and protect me. **

Khamas Thillana

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Special item - satriya - NEW

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Khamas Thillana - NEW

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