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Arangetram: Asmita Vasu And Sowmya Warty

Suryaa Ramaswamy

Arangetram: Asmita Vasu And Sowmya Warty
by Suryaa Ramaswamy

Amidst the vibrant backdrop of an active Arangetram season in the month of July, the Lasya Dance School of Bharatanatyam presented an enthralling duet performance on July 9th, gracing the stage at Sutton High School. Two exceptional young talents, Asmita Vasu and Sowmya Warty, took center stage, dazzling the audience with their audacious artistic choices in the selection of challenging and uniquely captivating dance pieces. The visionary choreography by their esteemed guru, Sapna Krishnan, illuminated the Bharatanatyam recital with a distinctive brilliance. She meticulously crafted an array of new and unconventional pieces, infusing the performance with a breath of innovation and novelty.

The first half of the recital unveiled an array of unique dance pieces. "Vaje Mridanga" offered a heartfelt homage to Lord Ganapathi in the melodious Marathi language, radiating an aura of reverence. Sowmya's graceful rendition of "Sharadha Kauthuvam" paid tribute to Goddess Saraswathi, capturing the very essence of knowledge and creativity. Dressed in a resplendent white attire, Sowmya's serene face embodied the graceful charm of Saraswathi, as depicted in the Sharada Kauthuvam. The next song of this segment was Asmita's performance in "Jeya Maruthi Kauthuvam," a powerful homage to Lord Hanuman, showcasing his indomitable strength and unwavering devotion. Asmita's dynamic dance, guided by Guru Sapna's masterful choreography, flawlessly matched the breakneck tempo of this composition by the revered Guru, Sri Madurai R. Muralidharan.

The varnam on Lord Shiva in Ragam MisraShivaranjani was a fitting centerpiece for their arangetram. The stories of this varnam illustrated the sheer power of the river Ganga, threatening to flood the Earth, and how Lord Shiva, with utmost grace, held the torrential waters on his head, allowing only a gentle stream to flow to the ground. The performance also wove in the timeless tales of Lord Shiva's union with Parvati and his heroic rescue of young Markandeya. In each narrative, Asmita and Sowmya flawlessly performed their roles, showcasing their years of experience with grace and ease.

An interesting second half with popular songs followed, where Asmita started with a beautiful song in Ragam Amrithavarshini, ‘Ellai Illa Inbam’, celebrating the Lord of dance, dancing in joyous abandon, in the famous halls of Chidambaram. For her solo dance, Sowmya opened with "Omkara Kaarini," a composition by the legendary Balamuralikrishna in the enchanting raga Lathangi. She beautifully portrayed the essence of Goddess Devi, her every movement resonating with divine energy. Her portrayal of the goddess was nothing short of enchanting, leaving the audience spellbound.

The transition to "Brahmamokate" was seamless and the folkish version of this timeless classic added a delightful and playful dimension to the performance, showcasing the versatility of the girls and the choreographer's creativity. It was a perfect example of how folk elements can be seamlessly integrated into the traditional confines of Bharatanatyam, demonstrating the evolving and dynamic nature of this classical art form. The showstopper of the evening was undoubtedly "Rusli Radha," a delightful and heartwarming portrayal of the intricate relationship between Radha and Krishna. Sowmya and Asmita brought out the innocence and complexity of this love story with great finesse. Their expressive storytelling and impeccable synchronisation truly touched the hearts of the audience, and the resounding applause from the audience was a testament to this fact.

Throughout the evening, the two girls persevered through numerous dance pieces with unwavering determination, showcasing their resilience. Beautiful vocals by Sudev Warrier, rhythmic mastery of percussion by Sri Nagarajan Shanmugalingam, soul-stirring violin by Shri Anandu Lal, and the melodious flute played by Shri Thiagarajan Ramani collectively made the audio-visual component immensely appealing and immersive. The evening was further enhanced by emcee, Ramya Srinivasan, who skillfully guided the audience through each performance, adding the right amount of information about each dance item.

The recital concluded with the traditional Thillana and Mangalam, showcasing the dancer's mastery of intricate footwork and graceful movements. It was truly a delightful evening for the audience and I wish Asmita and Sowmya continued success. May their passion and dedication lead them to great heights in the world of dance.

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