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Arangetram: Mahathi Athreya

Manasa Jayanthi

Mahathi has been a bright student since she started at Nrityanjali school of dance and has showcased a strong sense of grammar for the foundations of the artform. Mastering this level of technique at a young age has allowed her to elevate the pieces in her Arangetram margam by leaving enough room in her practice to focus on the nuances. A margam that was equivalently as heavy on abhinaya as it was on nritta. The subtle sways in her torso to the extensions of her long limbs to the piercing glances, all of which enchanted the audience as they were transported from one character to another.  With great ease and poise, another artist was born in the Boston. But technique is not only what Mahathi can be accredited for, she like many other children is well versed in music as well as dance. Though a deadly combination many like her find it a struggle to strike the right balance in allowing the musician to become the shadow as the dancer in them takes the light and vice versa. However, Mahathi was able to demonstrate that she has found the bliss in the magical union of music and dance, building an inner serenity. This serenity, this energy, this light is what became the magic that many including myself felt the evening of her Arangetram as she shined bright. On behalf of Nrityanjali, I congratulate Mahathi on this wonderful milestone and wish her a life full of the arts!

Below are a few thoughts about the program from Mahathi’s Guru, prominent dancers, musicians and teachers from the area.

“Not everyday does a teacher get a disciple as passionate and hard working as Mahathi. It was a privilege to witness the child blossom into a dancer who was completely under control throughout the event of her arangetram. She worked relentlessly to achieve the kind of perfection that was exhibited that evening. I am very proud of her and hope she keeps up the same kind of enthusiasm for music and dance all her life that she has shown in both her music arangetram last year and dance arangetram this year... God bless.”

Jothi Raghavan
Nrithyanjali School of Dance 

“Mahathi’s dedication and passion for the art form was clearly seen throughout her arangetram. She neatly portrayed Guru Jothi Raghavan’s  choreography and her angashuddi was outstanding. Mahathi was at her best when she emoted the Tulsidas Bhajan. This young dancer has a bright future and I wish her the very best.

Guru Jothi Raghavan on nattuvangam, Smt. Sudha on vocal, Sri. Narayan Swamy on mridangam, Sri.Raghuraman on flute and Smt. Revathi on veena enhanced the program with their wonderful music.”

Sridevi Ajai Thirumalai
Natyamani School of Dance

“I often ask my dance students what they notice most when they look at a painting of someone. The answer is almost always the eyes, the smile, or the expression. This illustrates how a spectator is always drawn to the face no matter what larger details may be present. I say this to emphasize how important the eyes and the smile are to a spectator, even though grammar and technique must always be in place.

At Mahathi Athreya's recent arangetram, the sheer joy of her dancing communicated through her captivating smile and sparkling eyes. That she also had a deep and sustained araimandi (half-seated stance) and perfect naatyaarambham (outstretched hands), so essential to Bharatanatyam seemed incidental! That she had worked extremely hard was also evident in the ease with which she executed each piece choreographed in strictly traditional format by Guru Jothi Raghavan. My kudos to Guru and Sishya for a memorable debut and best wishes for many performances to come.”

Sunanda Narayanan
Thillai Fine Arts Academy

“Mahathi's arengetram is a testament to her illustrious teacher Jothi Raghavan and Mahathi's dedication towards dance. She danced with joy and maturity usually evident in an experienced performer. Her pleasant composture and beautiful limbs made it a delight to watch her. What appealed to me most was the fact that she internalized the music and danced with the same energy and vigor from the start till the end. I wish her many many years of joy and success in dance and music.”

Soumya Ramanathan
Samskrithi school of dance.

“Congratulations on the completion of your Bharatanatyam arangetram! The intense emotional connection that you created through your controlled expressiveness and deep engagement with the music left an indelible and timeless imprint in my mind.  As a debutant performer, you exhibited tremendous poise and elegance on stage and effortlessly carried the audience with you on a deep spiritual experience. The performance highlighted your potential to ascend greater heights in the practice of this ancient art. My Blessings and Best Wishes to you for a bright future. As a young Bharatanatyam artist stay curious and inquisitive to seek out knowledge and diverse experiences from the many talented practitioners of this divine art form.”

Meena Subramanyam
Natya Vidyalaya School of dance

“It was a delight to watch Mahathi! Her composure and grace  was evident from the start to finish.  Her effortless execution of Nritta and Abhinaya aided by total control of body movements was very commendable, Kudos to Mahathi’s Guru Smt. Jothi Raghavan on the wonderful training. and to her parents for the support! I wish Mahathi all the very best in her future endeavors in the world of classical art forms and wish to see more of her performance.”

Sujatha Meyyappan
Kolam Dance Academy

"Mahathi was sheer grace and confidence on stage and delivered a well rehearsed arangetram. Her stance and clean lines were a pure joy to appreciate. May music and dance be with her throughout her life."

Jeyanthi Ghatraju
Natyanjali School of dance

“Enjoyed Mahathi's performance thoroughly. She had perfect araimandi, graceful movements and subtle expressions!”

Sapna Krishnan
Lasya School of dance

"When I watched Mahathi dance there was a quiet elegance to her movements that left me delighted.  Her command of her dance and of the stage was remarkable for a debutante.  I loved every item she performed and can't decide which one I liked most! I wish her the very very best and look forward to her continued growth as a dancer!"

Jayshree Rajamani
Bharatha Kalai school of dance

“I really enjoyed Mahathi's arangetram from start to finish. Mahathi's repetoire was filled with grace, precision and confidence. I was especially impressed with her ability to demonstrate the nuances of the sahitya, especially in the varnam and padhams, through bhava. In addition, the accompanying orchestra for the evening was absolutely fabulous. Mahathi is indeed blessed to have Jothi akka as her guru and guide. Under her devoted care, Mahathi truly lived up to demands of a great performance. I wish her the very best and may Lord Nataraja bless her with all success through this divine journey.”

Thenu Rajan
Apsaras Academy of Arts

"Mahathi had a great posture with admirable Nrtta technique. She looked marvelously beautiful on stage especially in the red costume. Indeed she has blossomed into a beautiful dancer."

Neha Parikh
Chidambaram Nritya Kala Academy

“Singing for Mahathi, my sister's daughter, was a pleasure at the same time a big challenge. With a sense of mixed feelings, I went on to the stage, not knowing, whether I was going to concentrate on my singing or watch Mahathi blossoming into a flower on stage or connecting with her. It was after the first song  that I realized something for the first time that 'Blood Is Thicker'. A strange and a very beautiful experience it was. Somehow I wanted her to giver her best and in turn I wanted to sing very specially for Mahathi. She is a blessed child with a lot of dedication. Her wonderful parents are like two pillars supporting her all the time. May she prosper and attain success in whatever she does in life.I truly felt God brought all of us together in this wonderful journey with her catalyst parents.”

Sudha Raghuraman - Vocalist

“Mahathi is beautiful, talented, sincere and hard working girl. With the guidance of parents and Guru, Mahathi has a bright future and can reach great heights in the field of arts. It is a great combination to have both music and dance, Mahathi has this gift from her family lineage. My blessings and good wishes to her in all her endeavors.”

Raghuraman Govindarajan - Flutist

“It was a pleasure and privilege to be part of Mahathi’s dance Arangetram. She did a great job on all pieces. My favorite pieces were Ardhanareeshwaram and varnam- roopamu joochi. Maybe because of her music background (for which she had her vocal Arangetram last year), she understands the music and brings out the beauty of compositions in her dance. I wish her all the best in her music and dance careers.”

Revathi Ramaswamy
Upasana School of music

“It was a pleasure to attend Mahathi Athreya’s dance arangetram. She was graceful, poised and did a truly neat and fine job of executing what had been imparted to her. A year ago, she performed her vocal music arangetram, yet again, presented beautifully. Her strong grounding in music and complete control of the rhythmic aspects, made her performance that much more effortless, appealing and very enjoyable. Children like Mahathi are truly the pride of our community, I wish her the very best and hope that she makes even greater strides in her dance and music in the years to come. Congratulations to Mahathi!”

Tara Bangalore
Anubhava School of Carnatic Vocal and Violin

“Mahathi dazzled us all with her lovely grace and perfect angashudhi. Her pieces were versatile and Mahathi’s immense talent shined through. She was truly a pleasure to watch!”

Pravin Sitaram - Mridangist

“Mahathi has the Saraswathi Kataksham. Just to perform admirably in one art form itself is difficult. She is not just excelling in both vocal and dance; she actually desires to do well in both, which is remarkable. Mahathi’s sincerity to both art forms is evident in the way her mind and body came together today. May god bless this child with the best of everything.”

Mahalingam Santhanakrishnan - Mridangist

“Over the summer, I attended Mahathi Athreya’s dance arangetram.  It was immense pleasure to watch Mahathi dance with confidence & poise.  One could see her hard work and dedication in each of the items presented.  My favorite items in the arangetram were the jathiswaram and a padam ‘Kanjadalayathakshi’.  There was charm and beauty in her facial expressions and movements.

Kudos to her teachers Smt.Jothi Raghavan and Smt. Manasa Jayanthi for training Mahathi to this level.

Orchestra was splendid.  It is the first time i heard Smt.Sudha Raghuraman sing. Her voice was filled with bhavam. She was well supported by her husband Sri.Raghuraman on the flute, Boston area artiste Smt.Revathy Ramaswamy on the Veena and Sri.N.S.Narayanaswamy on the mridangam.    It was a treat to hear them perform. Best Wishes to Mahathi for many more dance performances in the future.”

Bhuvana Ganesh
Gaanavaaridhi School of Music

“Mahathi’s magnificent stage presence, poise, grace and fluid dancing in the Vazhuvoor Bharatanatyam tradition was a fabulous treat for the attendees. Her rich musical lineage reflected in the manner in which she emoted to the powerful music accompaniment and conveyed with great effect the essence of the stories that she chose to present at her arangetram. May God bless Mahathi.”

Shuchita Rao
RASA School of music.

Following is a note of thanks from the parents of Mahathi Athreya to the Boston community.

As Mahathi’s parents, we express our sincere thanks to everyone for having made this arangetram a grand success. We have learnt so much during this event and from being part of many community events, culturally rich and steeped in tradition. It has been a great experience organizing this event, along with so many friends and art lovers. We are very fortunate to be part of Nrithyanjali, and extremely thankful for this opportunity.

Aparna and Balaji

(Manasa Jayanthi is Assistant Director, Nrithyanjali School of Dance. )

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