Adorning the culture of Bharatanatyam

Adorning the culture of Bharatanatyam

Anju Aravind is a student from Kerala currently pursuing Ph. D from Hyderabad Central University.

Anju Aravind is a student from Kerala currently pursuing Ph. D from Hyderabad Central University. Her subject of doctorate is "Practice as Research, exploring the characters of Valmiki Ramayana through the medium of Bharatanatyam" under the guidance of Dr Aruna Bhikshu (Head of the Department).

Anju Aravind says she doesn't remember when she started dancing. Moving according to the lilt of songs and everyone enjoying her act is her earliest memory. She expresses, "I later realised that dance is my identity, it gave me an existence. My parents have always been with me to achieve my dreams.

I started learning classical dance under the tutelage of Amaravila Jayachandran. He educated me in the other facets of classical dance like Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam and Keralanatanam.

I chose to make my dance career out of Bharatanatyam even though I am proficient in Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam and Keralanatanam. My backbone, my strength are my parents. They taught me to have a dream, to learn what I love and to be independent. They were also there to support to learn dance and perform, wherever it was."

Anju represented Sanskrit University of Kerala and participated and won first price for classical dance in the National Youth Festival held in Assam, 2016. During Kerala flood, she conducted a program with her friends named as "Dance for Kerala" to raise funds. It was a 12-hour program that lasted 9 am to 9 pm. This program strengthened us by the support and performance of Non- Malayalees," Says Anju Aravind.

She presented a well-structured Bharatanatyam performance recently at Shilparamam, Uppal, Hyderabad. Her dance was marked by grace and a poised restraint which are the hallmarks of rigorous training.

It included a meticulous attention to detail in the Sanchari Bhavas and allied technicalities which when done well add lustre and refinement. Her finesse elevated the program to heights of excellence worthy of a very senior Artiste.

An elegantly simple costume of subdued hues set the stage for a crisp recital devoid of flamboyance or flashiness but rich in content.

'Ganesha Pancharatnam' an item addressing Lord Ganesha was a composition of Adi Shankaracharya. This composition is a combination of five different Ragas which is known as the ratna or gem in Carnatic music. Choreographed by Prof. Pasumarthy Ramalinga Sastry, this auspicious invocation was fitting to herald the performance.

Anju caught and held the audience's attention from the beginning and never let it go. Her mastery was evident in the way of presentation, the footwork and stances well matched.

She also presented 'Navarasa Mohana', an item in Ragaamalika, a Jayadeva Ashtapadi and Tillana in Ragam Dwijavanthi, a composition of Balamurali Krishna, a vibrant item done with brisk and silver movements, and also the concluding item of this repertoire.

The artiste was thoroughly applauded, and it is hoped that she will continue to flourish in her mastery of the classical arts and her dance will adorn the cultural arena of Hyderabad.

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