ISG students enthrall at Bharatnatyam arangetram

MUSCAT: Five students of Indian School Al Ghubra, Hansa, Lakshmi, Malavika, Meghana and Prerana, staged their debut Bharatnatyam arangetram on January 19, at Sri Krishna Temple Hall, Darsait. The arangetram comprised the full Bharatnatyam repertoire with Kowthuvam, Shabdam, Varanam, Keerthanam, Pushpanjali and Tharangam followed by Mangalam.
The students began their arangetram journey 8 years ago under the brilliant guidance of Shailaja Sreekumar, an exponent of Bharatnatyam who attributes her success to her mother and guru Kalakshetra Vilasini, her father Muraleedharan Nair and her husband G Sreekumar. The arangetram was graced by Sushma Pandey, chief guest and wife of the ambassador of India to the Sultanate, guest of honour Asawari Deoras, Member, Board of Directors of Indian Schools in Oman, special guest Kalakshetra Vilasini, Retd Prof RLV Music College, Tirupunithura, Kerala, India, and others.
The presence of a highly accomplished orchestral team led by the guru Shailaja Sreekumar on nattuvangam, the vocal support provided by Shani Vechiledath Krishnan, mridangam accompaniment by Harikrishnan Ravikumar, Konneyoor Suresh on violin and Pradeep on flute created the perfect atmosphere.
The arangetram commenced with the customary Kowthuvam, an entreaty to God, followed by Shabdam which brought out the expression of the myriad moods through gestures and expressions and gave the audience a sneak peek into the dancers’ ability. The centrepiece of the repertoire, the Varnam, revealed the movements through facial expressions, hand gestures and intricate footwork, and Keerthanam dealt with striking poses interpreting the song. Pushpanjali and Tarangam were the final pieces performed in the Kuchipudi style. Pushpanjali meant offering respects with flowers to the God, guru and the audience. Tarangam involved dancing atop a brass plate and a brasspot on the head which was done effortlessly with graceful movements by the dancers. The arangetram concluded with the Mangalam by the dancers.
At regular intervals, the junior disciples presented Thodayam and Padam and the senior disciples of the guru performed Cholkettu which were beautiful and stunning. Shailaja Sreekumar deserves special appreciation for her excellent conception and nattuvangam.
It was a momentous occasion and a significant milestone for the danseuses who made the evening a memorable one with their true dedication, passion and hard work.