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Arangetram: Aarya Joshi And Sarayu Mudundi

Suman Adisesh

Arangetram is the pivotal point in a dancer’s life where a dancer embarks on the stage to present a full dance repertoire to a wider group of audience. One has worked for a long period of time to learn the nuances of dance, conquer fears, become confident and a whole lot of  other skills in addition.  Each Arangetram is a unique achievement for the dancer and her teacher.  


Also, this is a new beginning as the dancer starts viewing dance and life from a totally different perspective.  Dancer learns to accept the criticism, learns from mistakes, raise from failures, never to give up, push through the toughness and all the intangibles that comes along with learning dance 


On September 17th  Sarayu Mudundi and Aarya Joshi presented their Arangetram under the able guidance of their Guru Smt Poornima Surya.  Apart from other challenges these girls had one more on their plate and that was to coordinate with each other. Sarayu and Aarya presented a beautiful, coordinated repertoire (Maargam). 


Having seen them since their younger days I felt elated to see them blossom into mature dancers.  


The music ensemble of Guru Poornima Surya on the Nattuvangam, Smt Harini Darbha on the vocal, Sri Gowrishankar Chandrashekhar on the Mridangam, Sri Surya Sundararajan on the violin, Smt Hema Balasubramanian on the flute and Chi Bharathan Sundar on Kanjeera enhanced the ambience with their excellent music to bring out the aesthetics of  this Arangetram.  Audience was enthralled with music and dance. 

The emcee of the evening was Smt. Latha Narayanan gave a nice introduction to each song and kept it concise and informative.


Sarayu and Aarya began the performance with a Mallari in ragam Nattai set to Adi talam which was a vibrant composition. Girls executed the various jathis set to varied pace effortlessly. The formations choreographed were interesting. 


The second composition Ganesha Pancharatnam in Raagamalika set to Tishra Eka was full of energy and vigor. It brought out the salient aspects of Lord Ganesha 


The third Composition in Aarabi set to Adi talam “Aadidano Ranga” a composition of Purandara Dasa was executed flawlessly by Sarayu.   


Highlight of the evening was the Varnam “Nee Manamirangi” in Ragam Lathangi . This was beautifully choreographed to highlight various facets of Lord Muruga.  Audience was enthralled by the Jathis and the Abhinaya. Guru Poornima Surya rendered the Jathis beautifully with poise and Sarayu and Aarya executed them flawlessly. They portrayed the antics of Lord Muruga which the audience could relate to. In dance it is far easier to do Nritta than Abhinaya as Nritta is mainly the technical skills but with Abhinaya one needs to have a deeper understanding of the composition and a lot more imagination to connect with the audience.  

Sarayu and Aarya were communicative in their expressions. The second half of the Varnam did have a bit of folkish touch when the girls danced with the Kavadi.  Audience related well to the stories depicted.  


Post interval began with an energetic Shiva composition Shankara Srigiri in Ragam Hamsanandi set to Adi talam,  composed by  Swati Tirunal.  Sarayu and Aarya were completely at ease and gave a very strong and energetic performance. 

This was followed by Sri Chamundeshwari in Ragam Bilahari, a composition of Sri Mysore Vaasudevaacaarya performed by Aarya. She brought out the charismatic features of Goddess Chamundi through her dance.   


The next composition was a very vibrant Abhang,  Chala Mandirat, Vithoba in Ragam Maruva Behaag. Sarayu and Aarya connected very well to this composition as they were completely in the zone.  Audience related to them very well. Choreography had a very folkish touch.  Usage of props here especially the instruments gave a very authentic feel. It seemed like the girls thoroughly enjoyed performing this number. 


Thillana in Ragam Hindolam was fitting finale to this event with fast paced movements, Jathis and Korvais. 


Smt Prafulla Vellury,  an accomplished Kuchipudi dancer and the chief guest for the evening gave a very commendable speech appreciating the training given to these girls by their Guru Smt Poornima Surya. She had encouraging words stating the confidence these girls showed during their arangetram. 


Overall the event was well organized, with apt selection of compositions, well-paced, well timed  and kept the audience's attention intact. Lighting, sound and stage décor created a nice ambience. Kudos to the Guru Poornima Surya for her training and meticulously working with the girls to groom them into good dancers. 


Arangetram is only the beginning and I wish Sarayu and Aarya  reach much greater heights and carve their own path in their dance career and make use of all the knowledge they have gained through this training into their other walks of life. As they say, once a dancer you are a dancer for the rest of your life. I wish the girls explore more deeper into dance and become great dancers. Wishing them great success in their lives. 

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