Program Brochure

Introduction

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), 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.
​ACHARYA
Smt. Akhilandeshwari V is the founder of Kalagangothri Foundation, USA – a dance school that promotes the learning of Bharatanatyam in the Kalakshetra style of dance in the US. Kalagangothri Foundation is an institution dedicated to imparting knowledge of Indian Classical Arts – Bharatanatyam and Carnatic Vocal.
​SHISHYA
Riya is the daughter of Anita & Venkat Kishen, and she grew up in Scotch Plains, NJ. She will be a senior at Scotch Plains Fanwood High School this year. She is a musical force, dedicated student, and caring person. Riya is passionate about dance and has built a strong bond to her South Indian heritage through practicing Bharatanatyam, which she began at age five. Riya did her initial training in Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of eminent dance Guru Suba Parmar and further honed the skills of art under Smt. Akhilandeshwari at Kalagangothri Foundation. Riya is a Junior Diploma holder in Bharatanatyam from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. She has performed at various places with her Guru. Riya has been surrounded by music and dance her whole life. Riya loves to choreograph stunning home performances with her sister. She is also a talented classical pianist who has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York. Riya participates in many performance arts related activities in school where she sings in multiple choirs (including all state), plays saxophone in the jazz band and marching band, and assorted roles in ensemble. You can also catch her endlessly sharing clips of her dancing, singing, and ukulele talent with friends. In addition to her 10+ years of dance training, Riya has been preparing for her Arengetram for almost 2 years, and she is so incredibly excited to finally share her performance with you.

Program-Margam

Pushpanjali
Ragam: Saraswathi
Talam: Adi
Music Composer: Sri Madurai R Muralidharan
Pushpanjali is an invocatory item in Bharatanatyam recital. In this invocatory dance, Riya seeks blessings from god Nataraja by offering flowers. where the dancer seeks blessings from god by offering flowers. “Pushpa” means flowers and “Anjali” means divine offering. The dancers then seek blessings from their Guru, the artists in the musical ensemble and the respected audience for a successful performance / as they welcome you all.
Ganesha Stuthi – ‘Gajananayutham’
Ragam: Chakravakam
Talam: Adi
Language: Sanskrit
Lyrics & Music Composition: Sri Muthuswami Dixitar
Gajananayutham is a Stuthi that is sung in praise of Lord Ganesha. The song praises Ganesha, who is worshipped by all the gods, who seek protection from the chief of celestial spirits. Known as the bestower of auspiciousness, the son of Lord Shiva is regarded as the remover of obstacles

Ganesha, who is worshipped by Brahma and Indra. Remover of obstacles, whose lotus-like feet and hands are worshipped by Bhuta ganas. He exhibited his skill in vanquishing Kunjara. He is the elder brother of Guruguha, and is of the form of Pranava.
Alarippu
Talam: Chatrushra
The Alarippu is the first dance piece learnt by the dancer in her journey and is purely made of Nritta or all the basic dance steps that she learnt over the first few years. While it doesn’t have any Abhinayam or facial expressions, it is very rich in terms of showcasing the technical mastery of the student. The overall pattern of the piece is also said to have many representations including the blooming of a flower which is metaphoric to the blooming of the dancer too. The Alarippu can be set to all 5 Jaatis as well as various Talas. Today, Riya will be performing the Alarippu set to Chatushra Jaati.
Jathiswara
Ragam: Kannada
Talam: Adi
Lyrics & Music Composition: Sri Muthuswami Dixitar
Dance Choreography: Smt. Akhilandeshwari
Jathiswaram is quintessentially the marriage between beautiful swara or the notes of a particular raga in Carnatic music and flowing Nritta or basic dance steps in classical dance. Here the dancer moves in sync to the various stanzas without a verbal percussion or solkattu and performs a Korvai or a string of basic dance steps brought together. The Jatiswaram is a beautiful piece that is often learnt by the dancer to master the nuances of dancing with grace and precision. Today, Riya will be presenting a Jatiswara in Raga Kannada and Talam Adi.
Daruvarna: Maathe Malayadwaja
Ragam: Khamas
Talam: Adi
Language: Sanskrit
Lyrics & Music Composition: Sri H.N. Muttaiyah Bhagavathar
Dance Choreography: Smt. Akhilandeshwari
The Varnam is the central piece of the entire performance and also the most complex and important piece performed. In a traditional format the Varnam is usually considered to be a test of the dancer’s nritta, nritya and the natya skill since it is one of the first in the repertoire which tests both the laya (footwork in accordance with the thalam) as well as the abhinaya (facial expression) of the dancer. It is also a test of the dancer’s temperament and stamina since a Varnam goes on for almost 30min with the jathis, swaras and the lyrical parts are performed alternatively.

The Daru varam that Riya is presenting today is on Goddess Parvathi written by the composer Sri. H.N. Muthiah Bhagavathar. It describes Goddess Parvathi’s splendor and beauty as the mother of the universe and as the slayer of the demon Mahishasura – who represents ignorance.
O Mother! You are the daughter of the Pandya king Malayadhwaja, You are the lady with the face glowing green. O Mother! You have the beauty of the moon. You have the great expertise in all the arts, You allow equal rights to all the creeds, You are soft and sweet spoken, You express affection in music and rhythm, You inspire us with your beautiful and expressive song, You have gained fame for killing the demon, Mahishasura, You protect and care for Sri Krishna Rajendra, the Maharaja of Mysore, Even pray to Siva and the mother Parvati. Mother! You glow with the blue colour, You care for the whole world, You glow like a full moon.
Devaranama ‘Devaki Kanda’
Ragam: Piloo/Madhuvanthi
Talam: Adi
Language: Kannada
Lyrics: Purandara Dasaru
Dance Choreography: Smt. Akhilandeshwari
A devaranama written by Saint Purandara Dasa who is revered as the father of Carnatic music in the 16th century, this particular composition has been layered to bring out the complete Krishna- Rasa by Smt.Akhilandeshwari. Krishna is addressed as the sweet little child of Yashoda who not only steals butter from gopis but also uplifts Dharma by incarnating into the Dashavatara (Ten Incarnations). Krishna, the lotus eyed one, adorned with the conch and disc and who flys on the Eagle (Garuda), The prologue to this composition describes the poignant moments between Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield. This transitions into the Bhajan which showcases the beauty of the relationship between Krishna and Yashoda in his childhood. One popular instance that is portrayed is him stealing butter and getting caught by his mother. The finale for this particular piece brings the entire dasavathara to life hereby immersing all of us in the glory of Sri Krishna

The Dashavataras: Matsya (fish), Kurma (turtle), Varaha (boar), Narasimha (lion), Vamana (child), Parasurama (warrior), Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki
Bhajan – ‘Aaj Mein Dekhoon’
Ragam: Abheri
Talam: Adi
Language: Hindi
Lyrics: Saint Meera Bai
Dance Choreography: Smt. Akhilandeshwari
A Bhajan by Saint Meera, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna who lived during the 16th century. Her transcending love for Krishna defined the way of Bhakti forever. Her bhajans have always found their way into the common man’s approach to god and is special for the same. This particular Bhajan is known for its lilting music and wordplay.
Thillana
Ragam: Kalavathi
Talam: Adi
Language: Tamil
Lyrics & Music Composition: Vidwan T Venugopal
Dance Choreography: Smt. Akhilandeshwari
The Thillana is the culminating piece of the entire Margam or Program. It is vibrant, high on energy and contains portions of Nritta interspersed with lyrics for the god, giving scope for Abinaya too. It is a dance of exuberant joy and intricate rhythmic variations set to melodious music in which the dancer abandons herself to purely the joys of rhythm and movement. This particular Thillana composed by Vidwan T. Venugopal and is considered a jewel in the repertoire.
Mangalam
Ragam: Sourashtram
Talam: Adi
Language: Telugu
Music Composition: Saint Thyagaraja
Mangalam is an auspicious and aesthetic finish to the Arangetram. Riya offers her gratitude to the Almighty, her Gurus and the esteemed Audience before she concludes the performance.

Orchestra

Nattuvangam and sollukattu: Smt. Akhilandeshwari
Smt. Akhilaneshwari will be playing the ‘cymbals’ and reciting the ‘sollus-s’ or rhythmic syllables. The Nattuvanar is the Maestro of the entire Bharatanatyam presentation and the cymbals or the Nattuvangam is the instrument wielded by her for the same. The Nattuvanar also uses the Sollu-Kattu, which directly translates into using lyrical wordplay for adding voice over during the Nritta or dance portions.
Vocal: Smt. Mayuri Vasan
Mayuri Vasan started her training in Carnatic music under the guidance of Smt. Padma Kutty in Los Angeles. During her summers in Chennai she also learned from Smt. S. Sowmya, Smt. Suguna Purushottam, and Smt. Suguna Varadachari. Mayuri is currently the disciple of Sri Delhi P. Sunder Rajan. Mayuri has performed during the Chennai music season under the banners of Narada Gana Sabha, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Vani Mahal, Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Trinity Arts Festival, Carnatica, Kartik Fine Arts, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Maarga, and Nadasudha. Mayuri has her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Western classical vocal performance and has been a part of performances in her universities and in the community.
Violin: Sri Sanjay Sharma
Sanjay Sharma has been learning violin for the past 14 years. Starting his initial training from Smt. Sandhya Srinath, Sanjay has taken violin lessons from Srikanth Mallajosyula, and from Rajalakshmi Krishnan of the Jayamangala School, Maryland. Sanjay now takes advanced training from Sri Delhi P Sunder Rajan of Chennai. Sanjay gave his first 2 hour solo violin concert at the age of 12. He has given many violin solo performances in India and the US and frequently accompanies for Carnatic music concerts and Bharatanatyam arangetrams in the Washington DC metro area. Sanjay has received a number of awards for violin including at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana Music competitions. Sanjay is also well accomplished on the Mrudangam and has accompanied for concerts on the violin as well as Mrudangam during the December Music Season in Chennai for the past few years.
Mridangam: Sri S. Kavichelvan
S. Kavichelvan was first introduced to the mridangam by Sri Vinod Venkataramana at the age of five. Since the age of nine, he has been under the tutelage of Sri N. Manoj Siva. Kavi has also had the privilege of undergoing training from Sangeetha Kalanidhi Sri Vellore Ramabhadran, and has had the blessing of performing alongside him. He has performed alongside musicians such as Roopa Mahadevan, Sangeetha Swaminathan, Padma Sugavanam, Rithvik Raja, Amritha Murali, Flute Rama, and N. Vijay Siva. Kavi has been touring for Indo American Academy of Classical Music since 2018.
Flute: Sri Raman Kalyan
Breathing magical melodies on the Indian bamboo flute, flute virtuoso “Surmani” Raman Kalyan is one of the leading flautists in the Carnatic style of music. Raman with his unique style has captivated audiences globally. Raman has released multiple music CD’s including music for meditation. He was adjudged as the “Best Flautist” twice by the Madras Music Academy, India, and also as the Top Ranking Artist of All India Radio. He has released over 60 solo CDs globally and featured as a guest in more than 300 audio/video commercials. Raman’s Music for Deep Relaxation CD was on the #1 spot on the Apple iTunes World Music Charts.
Rhythm Pads: Sri Karthik Ramasubramanian
Karthik Ramasubramanian is a self-taught drummer with an innate sense of rhythm and a deep passion for music. Karthik has accompanied Bharthanatyam Arangetrams with Guru Smt. Akhila Chetan, New Jersey and with various other leading artists such as Dr. K.J.Yesudas, Shankar Mahadevan, Sadhana Sargam, Mano, Chitra and Kavitha Krishamurthy and also performs with many bands across the U.S.

Credits

Master of Ceremony: Neha Pannuri
Make Up: Poornema Ramasundaram, Eternelle Artistry, NJ Murali Hyderabad
Photo / Video: Justin, Indus Photo and Video, NJ
Costume Design: Vaijayanthi Alwan, Athma Dance Academy, Chennai,India
Jewellery: Bhavna Gupta,BG Jewels NJ, Lotus Silver Jewellery Hyderabad
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