Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Varnika Dokka,Thevina.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Varnika'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!

Varnikais 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.

Ta Rita Jham Pushpanjali - Aiyndu Karathanai

Raga: Gambheera Nattai

Tala: Adi

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: Vijaykumar Srinivasan

**Rashmkha will begin this evening's performance with a pushpanjali (or offering of flowers). This is an auspicious opening item in which the dancer salutes god, guru and the audience. The pushpanjali is followed by a shlokam on Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed God. In this Shlokam, Lord Ganesha is described as the one with a long trunk that is like his fifth hand, the one with a beautiful form and wearer of the crescent moon, son of Lord Shiva who rides on Nandi the bull and the source of all wisdom, I worship at your feet. The devotee dancer seeks the blessings of Lord Ganesha for a successful program this evening.**

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.

Varnika Dokka,Thevina Vaishnavi Dokka,Shananda Varanavi Dokka 2020 Jathiswaram - NEW

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Kali Kauthuvam

Raga: null

Tala: Khanda Chapu

Composer: Gangai Muttu Nattuvanar

Choreographer: S P Vijaykumar Srinivasan

## This is a poem is dedicated to Shiva and Parvathy who danced in the golden hall of chidambaram (tillai) to the accompaniment of nandi making sounds of tA and tOm on his mRdangam, and Sage nArada singing. It describes the Sun and the moon sharing the recitation of the poem with each other, and as the 108 types of dances of Sage Bharatha manifest magnificently including the various types of tALas – including aspects such as dhrutam (duritam), laghu (ilagu), guru, plutam (pulitam). The dancing Shiva is accompanied by the Goddess Kali whose anklets dance along with The snakes that adone Shiva’s neck and body. Even the Gods celebrate when the God and Godess perform the dance to appease the request of Sages Patanjali and Vyagrapada to see the cosmic dance. This piece mentions the undefeated Godess Kali in the ancient city of AlangADu!

As Kali challenges Shiva to a dance competition, he agrees and finally wins by doing the Urdhava Tandava pose. However, it is said that the Goddess could match every move but did not lift her leg high out of modesty. So in reality, she remains undefeated

Muralinigoni (Bahudari Varnam)

Raga: Bahudari

Tala: Adi

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

The Varnam is the centerpiece of any Bharatanatyam recital. This particular varnam is about Lord Krishna and describes in detail the beautiful episode of his dance on the hood of the snake Kaliya. Krishna was a young boy in Gokul where this Varnam is set.

Sindhooja will demonstrate the hands now so you can follow along better. Krishna is the supreme flute player and plays ever so sweetly on it. When he does so, he captivates the hearts of all people. He slayed the demon Mura and became the darling of all the village folk and gave them a lot of happiness. When Krishna plays melodiously, the young Gopi is so mesmerised that she even messes up her make up.

On the banks of the River Kalindi, Krishna discovers that the snake Kaliya is emitting poison and causing a lot of harm to the animals and villagers. He designs a game of ball with his friends and on purpose throws the ball into the river. He then proceeds to jump into the river much against the fearful warnings of his friends to retrieve the ball. Disturbed, snake Kaliya engages in a fierce duel with Krishna. Krishna quells the mighty snakes ego and dances on its hood. He then forgives the snake and tells him to live in the ocean. The devotee prays for the same compassion.

As Krishna dances on Kaliya’s head, there is a sweet sound from his gold ankle bells.

The devotee poet exclaims that she is delighted and blessed to have be able to behold the beautiful ras dance of the Gopas and Gopis with Krishna

Seeing the beautiful form of Krishna the young girls are love struck and want to be with him.

Oh Krishna, you rushed to save Gajendra on your Gaurda vahana when his foot was caught by the crocodile and showered upon him your unending grace.

You also saved Draupadi’s honor by giving her an endless saree in the court as she was in danger of being disrobed and also held up the govardhana hill to protect the people from the torrential rains that Lord Indra sent.

In my mind’s eye, I beheld your beautiful form as you danced with the Gopis and gopas and also feel blessed to have beheld your leelas and graces as they unfolded to the devotees.

Shambhu Natanam

Raga: null

Tala: Khanda Jathi Adi Talam

Composer: Sage Patanjali

Choreographer: Avijit Das and M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Sage Pathanjali is stated to be the Avatar of Adisesha and is depicted with a human face and the body of a snake. Vyagrapadar has also a human face and his legs are like that of a tiger with long nails. Nandhi, the divine vahana has two horns (Kombu, in Tamil) and four feet (Kaal in Tamil). Bhringi has three legs. Pathanjali was teased by the other three saying that he has neither Horn (Kombu) nor Kaal (legs).

Pathanjali gave a rejoinder stating that the other three have separate eyes and ears which was a disadvantage. If they concentrate on Ishwara’s dance form by seeing, they will miss the laya or thala and if they concentrate on the laya and listen, they will miss out on the visual treat. However, Pathanjali, in his serpent form, had a common organ for perceiving sound and sight (it was commonly believed that snakes make use of the same organs for hearing and seeing) and therefore could concentrate on both the form and laya simultaneously.

Pathanjali also stated that in spite of his not having Kombu and Kaal, he can appreciate the cosmic dance of Shiva better and will sing His praises. The trio of Nandi, Bhringi and Vyagrapadar teased Pathanjali further. Pathanjali resolved that as he himself had no Kombu and Kaal, he would sing Shiva’s praise also with a sloka in which the letters had no Kombu or Kaal ( e E a etc.)

The Shambu natana sthothram has no words with Kombu or Kaal. This was sung according to the laya/ thala of Shiva’s cosmic dance.

Om Sharavana Bhava - NEW

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Sakthi Koothu - NEW

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Alarulu - NEW

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Revathi Thillana

Raga: Revathi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Madurai N Krishnan (1928–2005)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

The thillana is a traditional closing item of a Bharatanatyam performance. Apart from brisk footwork in complex rhythm patterns, this thillana includes a short verse in praise of the Mother Goddess.

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You are Omnipresent in the form of Pranavam or Om, oh mother Goddess, the ruler of the world. You are the giver of eternal auspiciousness, Devi, we dancer devotees bow to you.

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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