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First steps and then some

First steps and then some
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The Airforce Auditorium was packed and the audience sat in excited anticipation as the young dancer Amanat, all of 16 took to the stage and owned it with her grace, poise and magnificent moves. Performing to the tunes of live music and singing by her Guruji Usha Rao and her team, Amanat perfected each step of Arangetram performance with elan. The crown jewel of Indian dance, Pandit Birju Maharaj bestowed the occasion with his gracious presence to bless the young dancer, as did Padma Shri sufi singer Rita Ganguly and the multi-faceted acclaimed dancer Shalu Jindal.

The grand elaborate performance was divided into 8 acts namely, Pushpanjali (the invocatory dance), Jatiswaram (a pure dance that presents rhythmic dance sequences), Thumaka Chalatha (a dance that lets the audience  experience a mother’s love for her child), Varnam (the epicenter of a bharatnatyam performance and the most challenging part, it conveys the romantic emotions of the danseuse for her beloved, Lord Shiva), Chaliye (the Lord  and his Lady again but this time as Krishna and Radha), Shankara Shrigiri (a tribute to the glory of Lord Nataraja, the personification of primeval energy) Jhulatradha (a loving interplay between the God and the human soul is depicted in this Raas Leela) and Tillana (the stage where the cosmic swirl takes over and the danseuse is the dance itself), concluding with the finale, Mangalam (expression of gratitude and salutation by the dancer).

Amanat has been training under the renowned Bharatnatyam dancer Usha Rao from the tender age of 6 and devotes 2-3 hours to her riyaaz everyday. Speaking post her performance, Amanat said, ‘I have been learning Bharatnatyam for the past 11 years. My passion for dance led me to learn various dance forms like Ballet, Jazz, Folk and ofcourse Bharatnatyam. But, among all these, the dance that has captivated my imagination the most is Bharatnatyam.

Bharatnatyam has enriched me with elegance, which every girl must be bestowed with. It has taught me things which could never be learnt through books and made me feel rooted to my culture and heritage, making me a proud Indian.’What started off as a hobby has become a passion and much cherished professional dream now. The young bright girl plans to take up dance professionally and wishes to open her own dance academy.
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