BY MAHADEV DESAI
Dilip and Smita Daya hosted an ‘arangetaram’ for their daughter Shaina, at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center on Sunday, July 19.
The auditorium was packed and right on time the emcee, Kena Vyas welcomed all and explained the significance of the auspicious invocatory puja. Shaina’s Guru, Smt. Mrs. Dinaben Sheth, of Kruti Dance Academy, accompanied Shaina, who was attired in shimmering costumes, embellished with sparkling jewelry, hair adornments and ghungroos, to the resplendent idols of cosmic Lord of dance, Lord Nataraj, Lord Ganesh and Goddess Saraswati, where Shaina lit the diyas, invoking the blessings of the divine powers, to the accompaniment of uplifting mantras and received the blessings of her Guru. Shaina started off the performance with Nataraja Stuti where the dancer offers her salutations to Lord Nataraja. Shaina next performed Alarippu (to bloom) with grace and poise as if a bud was blooming into a beautiful flower. The next dance Jatiswaram was sheer magic with an exquisite blend of synchronized footwork, gestures, melody and rhythm. Krishna Shabdam is a song which gives rhythm to the glory of God through hand movements and facial expressions. Shaina stunned the audience with her flawless dance, pleading not to be distracted from the flute of Lord Krishna. Total silence reigned in the auditorium as Shaina brought out the beauty, grandeur and profundity of Varnam with grace, energy and perfect synchronization of Bhava, Raga and Tala. Dinaben sat on the side providing the soft beats with a pair of cymbals.
In the next item, , Shaina brought tears to the audience while performing Padam-Gokul Maa, the Radha dance, reflecting a range of emotions from anger and sorrow felt by pining Radha due to Krishna’s absence. The next item was followed by a bhajan from Geet Govind, where as Radha, she conveyed her jealousy of other gopis which later turns into sorrow as she was advised not to lose faith in Krishna’s love for her. In the following dance, depicting the story of Krishna and Rukmini, Shaina demonstrated her knowledge and skills of the various hand gestures in narrating a story. In the imaginatively self-choreographed dance, she danced with her younger sister Annika and revealed her mastery of pure dance movements and expressions to depict various rhythms and emotions. And in the traditional dance of ‘Madhurastakam, she paid her obeisance to Lord Krishna. She excelled herself in Tillana, where she revealed intense concentration, and practice required for captivating sculpture-like poses. The pin-drop silence enhanced the enjoyment of her performance, to the accompaniment of hypnotizing music ‘par excellence’.
The Guest of honor, Deepak Ram is an accomplished soloist and a senior disciple of world renowned bansuri maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.
In their speeches, marked with praise, and advice, Deepak Ram, Dr. Yusuf Ahmed, Uncles: Prashun/New York and Hamint/South Africa lauded Shaina’s single- minded devotion to dancing, her persistence in reaching her goal .her commendable dancing cum music talent and volunatary work and also recognized the dedication, commitment and love of Guru Dinaben in not only helping Shaina realize her dream but also in teaching her about etiquette, composure, rich Indian traditions and culture, and leadership.
After Tillana, an ebullient and proud Guru Dinaben declared, “Heartiest congratulations to you from the bottom of my heart because this afternoon, you’ve successfully completed your ‘Arangetram’. And best of luck in your college life and future career.” Both Guru and Shaina offered their prayers to the deities, after which Dinaben presented Shaina with her Graduation Plaque.
After the concluding Mangalam Dance, Shaina made concluding remarks thanking her Guru Dinaben, her parents, her grand parents, Vasubhai and Nitaben for vibrant stage décor, and top- notch photography , and all the guests at the ceremony. Guru Dinaben, beaming graduate Shaina, and family members received a thunderous standing ovation as they were being presented with flower bouquets.
Shaina has been initiated into Bharatnatyam dancing, under the guidance of Guru, Smt. Mrs. Dinaben Sheth, since the age of seven. She has a well rounded personality, she excels not only in dance but has received her black belt in karate. Shaina has also been playing flute for the last six years, She is Co-President of CARE International Club at Walton High School, and also does social and charity work. She has received the dedicated volunteer award in 2007. She is an inspirational mentor and role model to many young students. Shaina has proved her mettle and has graduated with distinction. 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.