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Shivangi Pandit Dazzles In ‘Arangetram’ Performance
BY MAHADEV DESAI
Photos by Soham Photography
Shivangi Pandit, disciple of Kruti Dance Academy’s Dina Sheth had her arangetram (ascending the stage) ceremony at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center on the auspicious day of Guru Purnima, Sunday, July 25, 2010.
Shivangi started off the performance with Ganesh Vandana where the dancer offers her salutations to Lord Ganesh. Shivangi next performed Alarippu (to bloom) with grace and poise. This dance conveys the blooming of a delicate bud into a beautiful flower. The next dance Jatiswaram was an exquisite blend of synchronized footwork, gestures, melody and rhythm. In Mahabharat Shabdam, Shivangi through a captivating dance conveyed the popular episode of The Game of Dice, where Lord Krishna rescues Draupadi from evil Dushasan who tries to humiliate her by disrobing her. In Varnam, she enthralled the audience with her grace, energy, technical brilliance, intricate footwork and perfect synchronization of Bhava, Raga and Tala, while Dinaben provided the soft beats with a pair of cymbals. Shivangi demonstrated the symbolic gestures of some meaningful lines of Varnam while Ayesha Patel interpreted them in English
During the brief breaks when Shivangi was changing her costumes, Ashani Patel, Sapna Shah (recent winner of the coveted Miss Teen India-GA 2010); Jessica Sooknanan, Vivienne DeFreitas and Sonia Pandit made brief remarks complimenting and thanking Shivangi for her passion for dancing, camaraderie, her sense of humor, and her helpful compassionate nature while mentoring.
In the next item, Padam-Gokul Ma in Gujarati, Shivangi, now clad in a light-blue sari, through a range of emotions, conveyed the sadness of Radha, pining for her beloved Krishna.
Shivangi presented the marriage of Shiva & Sati by symbolic hand gestures, called “Hastas” while Amola Patel narrated it in English
In the imaginatively self-choreographed dance (requirement of KDA for arangetram), she danced to fusion musician Prem Joshua’s music-piece titled “Shiva Moon”, matching her dance movements to the fast drumbeats, depicting spiritual meaning with eye-neck movements and hand gestures along with rhythmic footwork.
And in the traditional dance of Madhurastakam, she paid her obeisance to Lord Krishna. In Tillana, she showed her unrelenting perseverance and dedication required in this demanding dance with complex poses, rapid graceful movements along straight lines, triangles and rectangles.
After the concluding Mangalam Dance, her elated Guru Dina Sheth declared, “Shivangi, it gives me immense personal satisfaction and pride in seeing that after six years of hard work, determination and dedication, and with unconditional help and support from your parents and elder sister Sonia, you have today successfully completed your ‘Arangetram’, and realized your dream. Congratulations and good luck in your college life and future career.” Both Guru and Shivangi offered their prayers to the deities, after which Dinaben presented Shivangi with her Graduation Plaque. (Wide applause)
Shivangi in her brief remarks thanked her Guru Dinaben, her parents and sister for their unflinching support and inspiration and guidance; her tutor, Shreya Patel for emceeing the event; all who helped her on and off-stage in performing her Arangetram, and the audience.
In his concluding remarks, Shivangi’s dad Manohar with his wife Rohini standing by his side thanked guru Sheth for her great vision and passion in running Atlanta’s finest Dancing Academy with a distinct identity where Shivangi had an opportunity to learn not only Indian classical dancing and Indian culture but also discipline, teamwork, leadership, creating strong stage-presence, volunteerism and social interaction, all of which help leading life successfully. He congratulated Shivangi on her graduation and reassured her of the family’s continued support in all her future endeavors. He went on to thank Soham Patel for photography, Ketan Shah for designing and printing brochure, Dale Saini for videography, Purnima Patel for stage decoration, Roswell Arts Center Staff, Rupesh Bhatt for catering the refreshments and the audience for attending the joyous event.
Shivangi has been learning Bharatnatyam dancing, under the guidance of Sheth, since the age of twelve. She is a recent graduate from Parkview High School Her journey continues. And for the audience, no doubt the images of a wonderful ceremony will remain ingrained in their consciousness for a long time.