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Arangetram - Krina Shah

Mitali Biswas
06/30/2005

Dedication, determination, and devotion – these are only a few of the many amazing characteristics that a Bharatanatyam dancer needs to possess in order to complete an arangetram. Literally meaning ascending the stage, an arangetram is the final and most difficult test of the dancer’s talent and courage. In this three and a half-hour long dance performance, the dancer portrays every aspect of dance she has learned. She combines intricate footwork with rapid hand and eye movement while depicting stories from Indian mythology. An arangetram is no simple task. Requiring endless hours of practice, late nights and early mornings, the dancer is also tested in the art of patience and commitment. Krina Shah is just one of these unique dancers who have recently completed her arangetram. The show was an incredible success, and everyone became mesmerized in the gift she gave through her dance.

Krina started her training for this arangetram in her sophomore year of high school. After years of learning the classic art form of Bharatanatyam, her guru, Sridevi Thirumalai, decided that it was time for her to take this test. Waking up at early hours to go to dance classes and still managing to go to school, Krina is truly talented. She is involved in so mane extracurricular activities, but she still found time to practice. Even after the most strenuous practices, Krina would still be just as committed in all of her other activities and still managed to complete her homework and keep her grades high. As the date of the program neared, Krina also faced the challenge of taking her final exams for school, which became more difficult because she also had to end school a week early so that she could fully concentrate of her performance.

What a performance it was - spectacular, crowd pleasing, and moving! Krina’s performance was nothing less than amazing. From the moment she stepped on to the stage until the moment she left it, the audience was thrilled. Her complicated dance sequences were completed flawlessly, and her grace added to the beauty. Her dance flowed from one step to the next and created an atmosphere of pleasure. From her quick eye movement to her emotional depiction of mythological stories, Krina expressed a great understanding for Bharatanatyam. The audience could see her involvement and was therefore able to become entranced in the performance. As the first half continued and finished with the varnam, the most difficult, long, and central piece to the test, Krina left the audience desiring for more. In the second half, Krina simply exploded with energy. With her snake dance, where she showed the extents of her flexibility, she left the audience speechless. Beyond the talented dancing, the costumes, jewelry, music, and lighting enhanced the performance even more.

Completing an arangetram is anything but simple. Krina did it with such expertise that no one could possibly tell any different. Everything about her performance was incredible. After months of preparation, the evening was perfect. The audience, musicians, and her teacher were all so proud of her. Everyone’s face was aglow at the end of the performance. Krina left the audience smiling and wanting more. Through this performance, she blossomed into something that has no words. It was simply wonderful. Sending her sincere congratulations and best wishes, everyone enjoyed Krina’s arangetram.

(Mitali Biswas is a high school friend of Krina Shah. )

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