Program Brochure


Bharatanatyam is an exquisite and beautiful classical dance form of India that dates back 5,000 years. Sage Bharatha who wrote Natyashastra, the oldest treatise on theater, traces the origin of classical arts to gods of the Hindu pantheon. Art in India was considered a means to spiritual enlightenment and not just entertainment.
Bharatanatyam embodies three principles of dance forms – Bhavam (Expressions), Ragam (Melody) and Talam (Rhythm). In Bharatanatyam, intricate rhythmic footwork, stylized hand gestures, swift movements and powerful facial expressions blend to bring all senses into perfect harmony. Linear geometric patterns with perfect balance of the body, eloquence of expressions, and precise footwork come together in a perfect mathematical rhythm.
Arangetram is a Tamil word meaning “Debut”, Arangam means “Stage” and ‘Etram’ means “Entry”. This is the blossoming of a dancer into a full-fledged artist of proficiency.
Bala Devi Chandrashekar is a Bharatanatyam exponent, research scholar, and a passionate, committed teacher of Bharatanatyam. Bala is known for her distinct scholarly style and takes on subjects based on ancient texts, backed by intense research, collaborates with renowned scholars in the respective fields, carving messages from scriptures relevant to the contemporary world and actively presents across the world.
Bala Devi’s lineage is from a family of philosophers and literary scholars. Bala Devi is the great granddaughter of Sanskrit scholar Shri Neelakanta sastrigal and niece of Swami Shanatanandapuri of Thiruvanamalai. Bala through her classical dance strives to interpret ancient philosophical and spiritual concepts and presents in a distinct classical style that is always contemporary in interpretation and communicates across cultures. Bala started her initial training under Guru Jayalakshmi Narayanan in Hyderabad and then went onto learn with Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam.
Guru Bala Devi Chandrashekar is the recipient of several awards including the Kalaimamani”- Tamil Nadu Govt., Natya Choodamani – Andhra Pradesh Govt.., Bharata Nritya Seva Mani – Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Natya Mayuri- Poojya Shri Shri Vidyadheesha Teertha Shripadaru, “Nritya Seva Mani ”- Cleveland Aradhana, “Nritya Kala Ranjani” – Rasika Ranjani, Kumbakonam, “Natya Kala Bharathi” – Thanjavur, “Vishwa Kalabharathi ”- KalaBharathi, Vizag, “Kala Rathna” – KalaPrakash, Varanasi, “Drishti Puraskur” – Drishti Arts Foundation, “Bharatha Kala Vani” – Dr. TN Ramachandran and Dr. Kodavayil Balasubramanian, “Thalaikkoli” – Rajasri Rajah S. Babaji Rajah Bhonsle Senior prince of Thanjavur palace.
Kavya Meenakshi started her Bharatanatyam dance training at the age of 7. Currently, Kavya is a sophomore in college hoping to eventually graduate from medical school. Dance has always been a large part of her life and Kavya kept up with the art forms of music and dance through multiple relocations. She has been trained in Carnatic Music since the age of 5, which has also helped her in many aspects of dance. Along with Bharatanatyam, Kavya is part of many clubs and activities. Kavya writes for the Her Campus and University Newspaper in college, tutors fifth graders in math and English, and leads meal delivery services for disadvantaged communities. As Bharatanatyam has spiritual roots, it has always given Kavya a sense of comfort and grounding in her Indian culture. She hopes to continue learning dance even after her arangetram.


Pushpanjali – Traditional
Ragam: Natai
Talam: Adi
The dancer pays homage to the Lord, her Guru and the audience. The Pushpanjali is a traditional Nritta piece interlaced by a hymn – thevaram in praise of Lord Nataraja., bringing out the Bhakthi Rasa, where the dancer extols the greatness of Lord shiva. The Pushpanjali brings out out the jugglery of movements to a set rhythmic pattern, bringing the beauty of solukatas and embellishing the lyrics with a song in praise of Lord Nataraja set in Ragam natai and adi thalam
The Pushpanjali brings out out the jugglery of movements to a set rhythmic pattern, bringing the beauty of sollukattus and embellishing the lyrics with a song in praise of Lord Nataraja set in Ragam natai and adi thalam.
Ragam: Nattai
Talam: Chtusra eka
Alarippu is an invocatory item. It belongs to the realm of Nritta, or pure dance. The sollukattu is recited in three different speeds. Since it involves the movement of Angas or major limbs and Upangas or minor limbs, it is a preparatory item which allows the dancer to warm up and get into form.

Ayigiri nandini

Ragam: Punna ga varaali
Talam: Adi
The recital is composed to the devotional verse written by Sr. Adi Sankaracharya, addressed to Goddess Durga Devi who killed demon mahishasura. Mahishasura Mardini is the fierce form of Goddess Durga Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi. Goddess Durga is depicted with 10 arms, each having different weapons with Lion as her vehicle and possesses the power to destroy Demon Mahisha.
As goddess saved the world from the demon, Durga came to be known as the mother of the universe who embodies the primal source of all power.

Bhavayami Raghuramam

Ragam: Raagamalika
Talam: Roopakam
Language: Sanskrit
Bhavayami Raghuramam is composed by poet Maharaja Swati Thirunal.
Bhavayami raghuramam is a soul stirring raagamalika epitomizing the entire story of the epic Ramayanam. This beautiful song, in Sanskrit, was originally composed by Maharaja Swaati Tirunal. Each of these six charanams describes one Khandam, corresponding to Valmiki’s version of Ramayanam. These are, respectively, the Bala Kandam, Ayodhya Kandam, Aranya Kandam, Kishkindha Kandam, Sundara Kandam and Yuddha Kandam.
Bho shambho
Ragam: Revathi
Talam: Adi
Language: Kannada
Oh Lord Shambho, one who “self-appeared”, source of Ganges. Shankara, oh merciful Lord, who redeems me from this ocean of sorrow – samsara. Without gunas, one who is beyond time, past, present, future, truth, and beyond all things finite. Oh, infinite! you are blissful and wondrous. You are the rhythm of the dance of creation and destruction.
This item is set in Ragam Revathi and talam adi, composed by swami Dayananda saraswathi.
Ragam: Abheri
Talam: Adi
Language: Hindi
Madhurashtakam is a popular devotional song composed by Sri Vallabhacharya, an Indian philosopher who propounded the Shuddha-Advaita philosophy.
Composed in eight stanzas, the meaning of Madhurashtakam clearly explains the appearance, qualities, symbols, and motifs related to the life of Lord Krishna saying that everything related to Lord Krishna is sweet and he is the lord of sweetness.
The Madhurashtakam lyrics are composed in a very simple way by Sri Vallabhacharya such that everyone can easily understand the divine aspects, at the same time helping the devotee to imagine and experience the divine bliss of Lord Krishna. You will repeatedly hear the words, Madhuram. Madhuram, a mellifluous word in itself, translates to beauty or sweetness. The poet starts by describing the physical attributes of Lord Krishna. His face is sweet, his eyes are beautiful, his lips and smile are beautiful. Then he goes on to describe Krishna’s music, flute, dancing, humming, his cowherd friends, the gopikas. Everything that surrounds Lord Krishna is beautiful.
Ragam: Hindolam
Talam: Adi
Language: Tamil
Thillana comprises of bodily movements and poses. It embodies in itself the majestic and forceful movements of the thandava Lakshana and lends itself to the softer elements of Lasya in its depiction of graceful, feminine movements in dance. The Thillana is further embellished with intricate rhythmic patterns set to Hindolam ragam and adi thalam.
Ragam: Sourashtram
Talam: Adi
Language: Telugu
The dancer will conclude the recital by thanking the Lord, her Guru and the audience. She pays her respects to her Guru to continue to seek knowledge.
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