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Bharatanatyam Arangetram: A tribute to Geeta Chandran

Bharatanatyam Arangetram:  A tribute to Geeta Chandran

Renowned dancer and Guru Padmashri Geeta Chandran presented a Bharatanatyam Arangetram by her disciple Sowmya Laxmi Narayanan at Chinmaya Mission Auditorium, New Delhi. The evening witnessed a large turnout of music and dance lovers.

A 12th class student of The Mothers International School, Sowmya is the daughter of Mythili and P.K. Narayanan. The day was more significant to her than just the date or her first solo performance, as it marked eleven years of her engagement and dedication to Bharatanatyam.

All those dance classes sowed and stirred the seed of passion within Sowmya, who after crossing the threshold of six, found artistic sanctorum under Guru Geeta Chandran at Natya Vriksha. Since then dance and Sowmya have been inextricable.

Sowmya performed many dance pieces depicting the range of the Bharatanatyam repertoire. She began with Alarippu, the basic eye, shoulder, and neck movement in the racy khandam nadai (beat), followed by Jatiswaram, which is pure dance. In the central item, she did a 40-minute long Shringara Varnam, wherein the Nayaka (the protagonist) is asking her sakhi to get Lord Kartikeya as this is the right time for love. She was accompanied by Geeta Chandran (Nattuvangam), K. Venkateshwaran (Vocal), Manohar Balatchandirane (Mridangam), G. Raghavendra Prasath (Violin) and Rajat Prasanna (Flute). Her performance received a standing ovation from critics, artists, and well-wishers.

"Arangetram is an important occasion in the career of any Bharatanatyam dancer. After eleven years of arduous training, Akka (Geeta, Guru) is confident that I'm ready for a solo performance, and it is an honour to her; as it marks the first milestone in my journey into the ocean of Bharatanatyam", says Sowmya.

An elated and very pleased Guru Geeta Chandran, said, it was an honour, a true tribute from a disciple to her Guru. I'm very happy with the way she performed, her skill, stamina, and immersion in the spirit of the dance was a treat to watch. I hope she will take her art to new highs.

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