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Arangetram: Nivedhya Cheruvari And Anjali Anilkumar

Varshini Arumugam

Grafton High School came alive on September 8th, 2018, when Lasya School of Dance presented  Nivedhya Cheruvari and Anjali Anilkumar’s Arangetram. The final arangetram of the year was an outstanding Bharatanatyam dance performance by these experienced students of Guru Smt. Sapna Krishnan, presented with melodious music and beautiful choreography.

The evening commenced with an invocation, Sri Ganesha Sharanam, rendered by the esteemed vocalist Sri Sudev Warrier. He was accompanied by Sri Sudaman Subramanian on the mridangam and Sri Chitoor Pathanjali on the flute.

Nivedhya and Anjali began their Arangetram with Ganesha Vandanam, in ragam Hindolam and talam Adi. This song was very upbeat, an apt dedication to Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles, with a good mix of perfect poses, energetic footwork and full of evocative expressions. This was followed by an Alarippu in Thishram which was marked by very interesting  choreography, where the girls moved in unison as one body and multiple limbs. 

Nivedhya then presented Mamavadhu Sri Saraswathi, in ragam Hindolam and talam Adi. In this item, Nivedhya danced in praise of the Goddess Saraswathi, and presented this krithi with  tremendous of grace and liveliness. Followed by this item was a dance on Annapoorneshwari, in ragam Jog and talam Adi, performed by Anjali. This song praised Goddess Annapoorna, the one who resides in the Cherukunnu temple. Anjali showed her devotion to the art and rendered many unique poses and divine expressions in her performance.

There was a musical interlude, where the flutist Sri Pathanjali, along with Sri Sudaman, wowed the audience with an amazing performance of the famous krithi Nagumomo. At one point, their jugalbandi was so impressive and the intricacies of their notes kept rising in a crescendo! 

Soon, Nivedhya and Anjali returned to the stage with a dazzling set of costumes to perform their Varnam, in ragam Misra Sivaranjani and talam Adi, which showcased the vibrant dance of Lord Shiva, the Lord of Dance. The girls portrayed many stories with energy and a variety of bhavam, or expressions.   One of the stories depicted how the river Ganga nearly flooded the earth with immense force and how Lord Shiva captured the waters on his head to let only a small stream flow onto the earth. The other stories included the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati and the story of how Lord Shiva saved the life of young Markandeya. In each of these stories, Anjali and Nivedha portrayed their roles very effectively, effortlessly and with grace, bringing all their years of experience to the stage. Anjali had the Tripundra, or the 3 sacred lines of ash, on her forehead portraying Lord Shiva, and Nivedhya adorned the round pottu, truly presenting Goddess Parvati to the rasikas, the audience.

After a brief intermission, Nivedhya and Anjali  began the second half of the Arangetram with the Madhurashtakam, in ragam Misra Tilang and talam Adi, a krithi describing the charm and beauty of Krishna. Through beautiful choreography and facial expressions, the girls showed how all the bees, peacocks, cows, and everyone else praised Krishna in Brindavan. This was followed by a keerthanam on Lord Rama, “Janakiramana”, in ragam Kapi and talam Adi. In this song, Nivedhya depicted several stories of Lord Rama and effortlessly merged into each character. Next, Anjali performed Vishamakara Kannan, in ragam Senchurutti and talam Adi. This was a very playful song, and Anjali showcased Lord Krishna’s various mischievous behavior with immense grace, style and perfection.

The students performed their finale item, the Thillana, in ragam Chandrajyothi and talam Adi. This was a fast paced song with vibrant footwork, graceful hand gestures, and flexible body movements. They ended the Thillana with a verse on Lord Shiva, the one with the shining crescent on his head with Parvati by his side. 

The auditorium resounded in the end with the sound of the classic devotional Malayalam song Harivarasanam in Sri.Sudev Warrier’s wonderful voice, as the Mangalam for the Arangetram. Nivedhya and Anjali danced to this endearing song in praise of Lord Ayyappa. Harivarasnam is recited at Sabarimala temple before they close the temple door every night. They girls performed this song with supreme Bhakti and devotion. The dancers thanked the Almighty God, their guru, and the audience for their presence, encouragement, and everlasting blessings. Nivedhya and Anjali successfully presented their Arangetram with grace, hard work, and a lot of dedication and passion.

The Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Saritha Venkatesh made this event even more enjoyable. She eloquently introduced all of the songs and also praised Guru Sapna’s innovative choreography and dedication towards the art of Bharatanatyam. She also truly engaged the audience with her passion for art and sense of humor!  

This Arangetram was also marked by very unique and artistic decorations, some of which were the picturesque temple doors on the stage and all the unique elements and backdrop of Kerala temple decorations, at the entrance of the auditorium. The audience were treated a truly unique experience in all aspects attending this unforgettable Arangetram, right from the colorful environment created by the decorations and ambience to the devotion and passion for the dance expressed by Nivedhya and Anjali conveyed through beautifully choreographed dance.

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