Graceful performance by Samiksha at Arangetram

samiksha (2)-webNEW YORK: Samiksha Vittalraj, disciple of Guru Thejaswini Raj, presented her Bharathanatyam Arangetram on behalf of Shivajyothi Dance Academy in Queens last week.

The program commenced in Mallari with Ganapathi Mantra as Mallari is an invocatory item derived from the Nadaswaram tradition. She followed it with Alarippu – an invocatory rhythmic piece for salutation to God, Guru and the audience. She went on to perform Jatiswaram that is an ornamental dance item of Nritta and pure rhythmic segments.

Vittalraj continued her performance with Shabdam (Aazhi soozhndhida) an item praising the various forms of Lord Vishnu and Varnam a perfectly synchronized dance of Bhava (emotions), Raaga (melody) and Taala (rhythm) that glorifies the many divine plays of Lord Shiva. Her Padham (Muruganin Marupeyar Azhagu) an expressional dance that delineates the beauty of Lord Muruga won the praise of the audience.

Her Keerthanam (Sadhanadhamayi Chinmayi) – a Krithi on the Goddess of the Sarvarakshakara Chakra – the 6th Avarana and Padham (Kai Koopi Thozhum) – a devotional dance that portrays the valor and great qualities of Lord Anjaneya was neatly executed. She completed her performance with Thillana that is a dance item of exuberant joy with intricate rhythmic variations. Arangetram symbolizes a milestone; it is just the beginning of a dancer’s artistic journey.

Thejaswini Raj is an accomplished professional dance teacher with 30 years of teaching experience. She is well known for her excellent choreographic skills be it an intricate Nritta pattern or an in depth detailed abhinaya piece. She follows the Kaattu Mannar Koyil Muthukumaran Pillai style of Bharathanatyam.

Samiksha is learning Bharathanatyam for the past seven years from Guru Thejaswini Raj. She has participated in multiple Bharathanatyam programs and competitions in the tristate area. Through Shivajyothi Dance Academy, Samiksha completed a certificate course in Bharathanatyam and received an A Grade from Alagappa Performing Arts Academy. By learning Bharathanatyam, she has developed a deep understanding of her faith and culture, which has shaped her in many ways.

She is a sophomore in Scotch-Plains Fanwood High School, Scotch Plains, New Jersey. She is part of Model United Nations, Medical Club and French Honor Society.

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