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Arangetram - Mansi Thakkar

Nirmala Garimella

Arangetram of Mansi Thakkar

Mansi Thakkar,daughter of Praful and Dipti Thakkar a junior at the North Reading High school performed her Arangetram recently. Mansi has learnt various classical dance styles from Neena Gulati of the Triveni School of dance and showcased them in her debut. Introduced to the classical dance style at the age of six under Smt Padmini, she later enrolled with Neena Gulati in Massachussetts. Soon after her performance, Mansi was all praise for her Guru. “I am very grateful and indebted to my teacher”, she said,” without whose encouragement and support today would not be possible”.As well as Dance, Mansi also takes karate lessons, which she joined at the age of 8.She is just one step away from Black belt.

The evening started with a Saraswathi Vandana, an invocation in praise of Saraswathi in the Odissi style. Mansi looked utterly radiant in a beautiful white sari worn in the traditional Odissi style with the headgear and jewelry etc. She then followed it up with a Stahee and a Das Avatar depicting the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu as visualized by the great poet Jaydev. Mansi precluded every item with a demonstration, explaining the story with expression and gestures.The flavor of Odissi is singular; the music is bhajan-like and the combination of music with dance is often described as intensely spiritual.

The evening also had two other styles of classical forms – Kuchipudi and Bharathanatyam. The Kaliya Naratana and in a lighter tone was Rafi’s popular song “Madhuban Mein Radhika”. The Kalavati Tillana was a dance piece that concluded with an abhinaya in praise of Lord Shiva. Tarangam where the dancer dances on the brass plate had some unusual maneuvers.

Neena Gulati, Mansi's guru had all praise for her young student “ Mansi has worked hard and put in a lot of effort and has been learning from me for a long time. She is very dedicated and loves to dance. What more can I say “ The evening’s orchestra was a pleasing treat that had local luminaries like Sripriya Subramanian lending her lovely voice, ably accompanied by Durga Krishnan on the Veena, GauriShankar on the Mridangam and Dr Suresh C. Mathur on the Flute. It was a sheer delight.

We hope this young dancer will pursue her deams and practise this art in her future years.

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