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Arangetram - Dance: Meenu Rajendraprasad And Niveda Baskaran

Ashok Nambiar

Niveda Baskaran and Meenu Rajendraprasad, students of Guru Sapna Krishnan performed their Arangetram at Keefe Technical School Auditorium on August 16, 2009. Both the girls’ performances were so graceful and exhilarating that the audience were raving about the perfection, synchronization and co-ordination of the dancers and their chemistry on stage.

The program started with a Pushpanjali and a Shloka in praise of Lord Ganesha, which was followed by a solo performance of Karthikeya kauthuvam by Meenu. She could bring out the beautiful movement of the peacock with subtle and graceful body movements. The most elaborate piece of the repertoire, the “Varnam” by Meenu and Niveda was in Ragam Hamsadwani that extolled the virtues of Lord Muruga. The perfection of the difficult footwork and Abhinaya left the audience amazed and they exclaimed how they didn’t realize that it was a 30-minute dance piece that flowed smoothly and swiftly. The solo performance of Keerthanam on Lord Rama brought out the Abhinaya skills of Niveda where in she portrayed the role of Lord Rama, Shabhari, Ahalya and Sage Gautama and it was very much appreciated by the audience.

The performance of Meenu and Niveda was well complimented by the skillful orchestra with vocal support by “Sangeetha Ratna” Mr. Sudev Warrier, disciple eminent Carnatic singer Dr. Balamuralikrishna, Mr. Sudhaman on Mridangam , who started his Mridangam lessons with his father Mr. Sri K N S Namboodiri and advanced his skills under Sri M N Kandaswami Pillai. Mr. Mysore A. Chandan Kumar, who is the great grandson of violin Maestro Sangeetha Kalanidhi Late Mysore Sri T. Chowdaiah, played the flute for the program. About their feelings on the performance of the girls they said, “We have been part of many Arangetrams before, but the choreography of the dances today were excellent!”

The eye catching piece of the evening was the “Shivashtakam”. The dancers caught the full attention of the audience with difficult poses of Lord Shiva and it was a true test of their flexibility. The whole dance gave the punch and color to the repertoire with brisk and vibrant movements and the ‘sanchari’ on the union of Shiva and Parvathi. The Tillana that followed was also very scintillating with beautiful Adavus and exciting rhythm.

Dr. Sunil Sarin who was in the audience said: “I had attended several programs in New Delhi through Gandharva Maha Vidyalaya and the program today was at par and as well organized as the programs I had been to in  New Delhi “. He even said that the quality of performance today reminded him of a performance by Madhavi Mudgal, the famous Odissi dancer.

Guru Mrs. Sapna Krishnan, who is the founder of Laasya School of Dance, said in her speech that Niveda and Meenu are two very talented and promising dancers and have always shown great discipline and commitment towards the dance.

Both Niveda and Meenu are 11th graders and planning to continue their dance studies with their Guru Sapna Krishnan.

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