Few things inspires me more than the power of dance so when it was time to produce a video focusing on classical Indian dance I felt it was a special experience. The assignment was to capture the story of two dear friends, Shivani and Avani who have spent the last 10 years studying the art of classical Indian dance to one day perform in front of their family and friends for their debut, on-stage performance known as the “Arangetram.” After over a decade of learning, the dancer has officially achieved a higher level of her knowledge of classical Indian dance and everything related to it. Thus she is ready to present her knowledge and capabilities to the world.
"The dances that they are doing teaches them about their culture, stories and where they come from," says Dance Instructor, Smt. Revathi Satyu who is the founder of the Arathi School of Dance in North Dallas. For the final year leading to the Arangetram performance, Shivani and Avani must practice intensely everyday to perfect the movements until it became muscle memory. The girls must learn to dance to live musicians and in turn, the musicians must follow the rhythm of the girls' movement of her feet, her hands etc. "If the dancers are professional, they can adjust to our singing also," says Vocal Artist, Vidushi P. Ramaa who traveled all the way from India to sing for the debutants. The dancers learn to use their whole body to convey emotions that tell a story that informs as well as entertains the audience. The stories usually have a range of topics that are perhaps related to traditional Indian deities or "Demi-gods," of the Hindu faith.
In regards to the performance, there are 12 well choreographed routines in an Arangetram and could last for up to three hours long. It is the utmost test of endurance, strength and beauty. Watch the video to see how talented dancers, Shivani and Avani prepared for this illustrious event in their life. The last 10-minutes shows the actual Arangetram performance called, "Thallani" an upbeat, rhythmic pieces that's traditionally played at the conclusion of an Arangetram. Summer time is usually the time when Arangetrams are performed and my summer was made complete by the honor of producing the film for this one. Enjoy. Namaste.
Hi. I'm LaDonna.
"Nothing superior has ever been achieved, except by those who dared believed, that something inside of them was superior to circumstance."