On June 30th, 2012, I performed my Bharathanatyam Arangetram. An Arangetram is the first full- length stage performance by a Bharathanatyam dancer. By doing her Arangetram, a dancer proves that she has mastered the basics of Bharathanatyam and is ready to climb the stage and show her talent to the world. The Arangetram is a very big event in a dancer’s life, and so you can understand that I was very, very excited to be performing mine.
It was sometime in July, 2011, that our parents and my teacher, Smt. Rohini Ramesh (or Rohini aunty, as I call her) decided that me and two of my friends, Tanya and Priyanka, would be doing our Bharathanatyam Arangetram together. It would take a full year to prepare, so we got started right away. In addition to our normal classes Rohini aunty started giving us special classes, with just the three of us.
Throughout April and May, we put in all our energy into the dance. We practiced all day and attended class in the evening. Slowly, the practice worked its magic on us. Our stamina increased and we had finally reached the level of perfection required for an Arangetram
So, the days passed, and finally the final day arrived! I had butterflies in my stomach the whole day. In the afternoon my mother and I drove to the hall. There I met Tanya and Priyanka, and we all started getting our makeup done. Unable to sit still, we discussed steps, formations, and movements. Rohini Aunty had to keep telling us to ‘relax, everything will be fine!’
I took a deep breath as the first song started, and then walked onstage. I looked out into the audience. Though I couldn’t see their faces, I could tell that there were around 400 people out there. But, I felt confident. The dance was so much fun, I couldn’t help but smile. We completed the entire dance without a single mistake! By the time we walked offstage, we were brimming of energy and confidence.
We danced through the entire first half, which ended with the 30- minute long Varnam. Relieved after the tiring dance, we went backstage. Immediately we were swept into the green room, where we changed costumes. It was a real challenge to get ready within 10 minutes!The second half began with Tanya’s solo, followed by mine, and then Priyanka’s. My solo was one of the dances that I was most nervous about, but it went very well and everyone loved it. After the solos, it was time for each of us to give our vote of thanks. Then, finally, we came to the last dance of the day, called the Thillana.
I simply couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t believe that we had actually done it! I was really, really happy.