Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bharata Natyam Arangetram

On Sunday evening I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Arangetram of a very accomplished young woman -Ayesha Patel. My friend and colleague who is a student at Kruti Dance Academy invited me to join her in celebrating Ayesha's accomplishment. I was honored by the invitation.

Arangetram literally means "ascending the stage." It is a stepping stone in a student's study of Bharatnatyam. An Arangetram marks the completion of a student's initial training, her blossoming into a performer, and also launches a new phase of her life.

Bharata Natyam, one of the world's most ancient forms of art, is said to have divine roots. Lord Brahma asked Sage Bharata to disseminate and popularize Natyaveda with the common man. With this task at hand, Bharata wrote the Natashastra -a work containing the foundations of Bharata Natyam.

"Bharata" is derived from three words, "bhava" (expression), "raga" (music), and "tala" (rhythm). "Natyam" means dance.

Bharata Natyam is also composed of three elements: Nritta, pure dance, Nritya, expression, and Natya, dance and drama. These three elements hold the essence of this classical dance form.

It stands today as one of the most popular traditional dance forms demanding poise, grace, and stamina.

To learn more please visit Kruti Dance Academy.

Photography by Carlton Mackey.

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