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Arangetram - Abritee Dhal

Chitra Parayath

Performed with great grace and excellent footwork, Abriti Dhal’s Arangetram at the Littleton High School on August 23, 2003, was testimony to the young dancer’s hard work and dedication.

Her expressive eyes captured every emotion required and she enjoyed the full attention of her audience with her radiant presence.

She began her performance with Todaya Mangalam, an invocatory piece in praise of Lord Ram after which she presented Jathiswaram in Ragamalika Ragam. The ten Avatars of Lord Vishnu were captured in the Dashavtar item which was also in Ragamalika Ragam . Varnam, the main item of the program was in Ragam Shankarabharanam. Varnam, which brings out the best talents of the artist in pure dance had the young dancer expressing her intoxicating love and devotion for Lord Thyagaraja. The audience would break out in applause many times during the performance in response to Abritee’s intricate moves.

The popular Hindi song Madhuban Mein Radhika Naache Re was the crowd pleaser with the singer Shri babu Parameswaran’s perfect rendering of the song, it was indeed a high point of the evening.

Devi Neeye Tunai, krithi by Papanasam Sivan in Keeravani followed, where goddess Meenakshi was described in all her glory.

Thillana in Ragam Dhanashree involved intricate footwork and beautiful poses. Describing the beauty of Lord Narayana, Narayaneeyam was followed by Tharangam, a dance in Kuchipudi style where Abritee danced perched on the edge of a plate. Mangalam, the Thanksgiving prayer was offered to Lord Jagannatha with Shri Babu singing Jayadev’s Oriya shloka in a flawless manner.

On the Natuvangam was Guru Ranjani Saigal, vocals were provided my Shri. Babu Parameswaran supported on the Mridangam by Shri. T Viswanathan, on the Flute by Shri Suresh Mathur, on the Violin by Smt. Tara Anand and On the Veena by Dr. Raghavendra and on the Kanjira was young Rohan Krishnamurthy.

Her proud and beaming teacher, Guru Ranjani Saigal was all praise for the young dancer. “ Abritee has matured into a graceful and skilled dancer” she said "it is heartening for me to see her blossom so. All her hard work is bearing fruit.”

Abritee in her address thanked her Guru for dedicating her time and effort to make this Arangetram perfect and to her family for their unending support and help. She also thanked Ms. Benu Tandon, her very first dance Guru, and then went on to express gratitude to her friends for attending her Arangetram.

The evening program was compered with quiet grace and dignity by Monica Mehta, a long time friend of the Dhals. “ Abritee has made us all proud” Said Monica. When I asked her how she managed to pronounce the toughest of Tamil words with relative ease she laughed and admitted that it had taken practice” Ranjani helped me with the words and I made sure I got them all right!”

Abritee and Ankan had many friends from their schools rootingf or Abritee that evening. I caught with a few young ladies and asked them what they thought of the evening's program. Jaclyn Bedard, Malllory Goddarzh and Jamie Goddarzh, all admitted to be totally charmed by the performance. They also said that the music was complicated but great.

Sujatha and Pradeep Dhal were busy greeting friends and family and both expressed pride and joy in Abritee’s accomplishment. Abritee’s younger brother Ankan who videotaped her practice performances regularly so that she could perfect her dance pieces was impressed too. “ She has done a great job.” He said solemnly, adding “I think.”

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