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Arangetram: Madhumita Nambiar

Indu Subramanian

"Kamban veetu kattu tharium kavi padum" meaning even a mill in poet Kambar’s home would have rhythmic notes,as though it was singing a poem (“கம்பர் வீட்டுக் கட்டுத்தறியும் கவிபாடும்"). Madhumita , who performed her Arangetram on 6th August, 2016,at Bellingham High school Auditorium, MA,  had the privilege of having her mother as her Guru. She was so natural in her dancing and had undoubtedly inherited the art form from her mother/ Guru, Smt.Sapna Krishnan, the founding director of Lasya school of Dance, Shrewsbury, MA.

 As the Wise old saying goes….”First impression is the best impression”. Madhu created that best impression in her first dance item, Pushpanjali in Ragam Saraswathi, a composition of Sri. Madurai. R. Muralidharan, by showing her respects individually to her Dance Guru, the Mridangam artist, the Vocalist and the Flutist, by demonstrating their respective art form through her dance moves. That was very unique and interesting! “Ananda Narthana Ganapathim” kept the interest going with her energetic movements.

Power packed Anjaneya Kauthuvam , which followed was simply extraordinary! The way she puffed her face to look like Sri Anjaneya made us all watch the dance in awe as the audience felt as if Anjaneya appeared in front of them.  She created that magic by displaying all the attributes of Hamunan(The Monkey God) with her hand movements, body language and facial expressions.

Yet another spell bounding performance was the Varnam, where the story behind the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvathi was well dramatized in the introduction. This evoked a lot of curiosity in the audience and Madhumita went above and beyond to live up to the expectations. The choreography in this piece was marvelous with Madhu bringing out the vibrant Lord Shiva who opened his matted locks to lock the power of river Ganga. Madhu did some Stunning poses of Shiva/ Nataraja, in this dance item. Her seamless role transformations, balance, poise and confidence were exceptional. Madhu portraying Shiva in disguise as an old man was particularly impressive.

She can act as an old man. Wait….  she can magically transform into a mischievous little Krishna, who is afraid of Gumma, a term used to scare naughty kids. It was magical when Nilanjana, her sister appeared as Yashoda and pacified little Krishna on her lap. Awwwwwww…. The audience, were mesmerized instantly!! What an adorable Devaranama presentation by Madhu and Nilanjana. The sisters looked so lovely dancing together. The Swathi Thirunaal composition in Raga Revagupti was particularly worth mentioning.  Mischievous Madhu, as little Krishna stealing butter, which almost comes to her so naturally, shows mother Yashodha inside her wide open mouth the whole universe and then she transformed to Krishna’s childhood friend Kuchela who was beaten by life !

And she gets serious in the next number on Devi as fierce Durga/ Kali. She showed immense maturity as a young dancer (13 years old).Om Greem which contained versers from Rajarajeshwari, Ardhanareeshwara and Annapoorneshwari Ashtakams, was an intense performance where she slays the heads of demons and rides on the majestic lion.

It was indeed a wonderful day for their family as Nilanjana shared the stage by performing her  vocal concert. She chose such unique compositions in multiple languages and did an amazing rendition of all the songs. A kannada , purandaradasa composition-“Yamaneni kananendu helabeda”, a Tamil Bhajan- “Nee Ninaindhal aagadhadhu undoo, a Malayalam Krithi- “Oru Neramengilum Kaanadhe Vaiyende, Guruvayurappa”. She also rendered a Vibrant thillana besides a Lalgudi Samarpanam. Great singing at such a young age!! Both Nilanjana and Madhumita are such hard working talented girls with such respect for Indian art form. I am sure they will reach great heights!

The best and most important part of any concert or dance recital is the accompanying artists. The Vocalist, Sri.Sudev Warrier with his mellifluous voice created a magical atmosphere. The Mridangam artist, Sri Sudhaman Subramanian has his own unique style of attracting the audience with his intensely forceful performance. The most awaited moments in the interlude is when he involves the audience with rhythmic clapping to his Mridangam beats and his stylish mannerism of thanking the audience. The Flutist Sri Ramani Thiagarajan is a Maestro himself, Multitalented – plays Flute, Violin and Kanjira. He mesmerized the audience with all his instruments!!! Mother and Guru Mrs Sapna Krishnan accompanied and led the group with her captivating nattuvangam.

Madhumita’s Thillana in Bhoopalam and Harivarasanam for Mangalam were exceptional choices and was gracefully performed. One can commonly listen to Harivarasanam on Lord Ayyapan in temples and other places. It’s very rare to see one dance for that (I have personally never Witnessed Harivarasanam dance before).  The song created a mystical vibe in the auditorium. Climbing the ‘padinettu padi’ with ‘Irumudi’ and the sitting pose of little Ayyapan is still lingering in my eyes!

Master of Ceremonies was Mrs Anita Sivaram (sister of Sri. Ashok Nambiar, Madhumita’s Father). She walked us through the entire program with great care! Entrance and hall ways were well decked up and reflected grandeur in each and every corner. From bright costumes, beautiful jewelry of the dancer to stage decorations, great dinner and colorful rangoli and above all fantastic performance by young Madhumita—It was one of a kind event to remember!!!

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