Shreya Mehta Captures the Essence of Bharathanatyam

SHREYA MEHTA, disciple of Smt Usha Karunaharan, arungetram captured the essence of bharathanatyam holding her audience captivated with the ease of a professional and the confidence of the experienced.

To an encouraging audience of family, friends and well wishers, the arungetram was held on the 13 April 2013 at the Gillian Moore Theatre for Performing Arts Pymble Ladies College.

The Arungetram is the first performance of a dancer but in today’s world it is really the meeting of the initiated and the uninitiated.

The guru and student join hands with the support of family and friends to present an exciting full fledged performance strictly adhering to the formal structure of presentation of this artform,  as it is and has been presented for centuries in the Southern temples of India.

Between the time an Arungetram is thought about and executed, the wondrous relationship between a teacher and student graduates to the next level. The student is now taught to present and to build stamina. Be organised, methodical and structured yet maintain the emotive aspect of the dance. Most of all to keep the audience captivated through a thorough grounding in technicality,  enticing choreography, footwork, expression and story telling and to sustain her artform amongst a myriad of competing interests. It is a tall order and no mean fete.

Shreya’s arungetram contained all elements of a full fledged production starting with the Pushpanjali, where her excellent aramandi, [half sitting position] were displayed, followed by the Jathiswaram where her natural rhythmic command and footwork was left the audience in awe.

The varnam is the main item where Shreya depicted the mythological stories connected to Lord Vishnu, as Vamana, Krishna and his other incarnations, including the story of Draupadi Apaharanam. She skillfully displayed an underlying strength and power when performing the rhythmic work in the jathis and with equal ease brought to life the emotions of sadness, desperation, greed, hatred and so on.

The second half of the performance started with a love story, the love of  a nayika for Lord Muruga in Kanda Naal followed by the relationship of a devotee with her Lord Shiva, as she teases Him asking about why his left leg was stuck in mid-air. The choreography, rhythmic work and expressions of Shreya had the audience squealing in delight and amusement.

The bhajan and thillana to finish were an icing on the cake with Shreya commanding the rhythm and the live musicians. Musicians who added pizzazz and serenity to the arungetram were Vocalist Murali Parthasarathy, Dhanamjayam Muthukrishnan on Mridangam, Veeramani Nagarajan on the Violin and on the Nattuvangam , none other than Usha Karunaharan.

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