Chalangai Poojai - Program highlights (Jan 8, 2004)
by Meenakshi Kausik
January 15, 2004   

Children who had their Chalangai Poojai
Yet another presentation by Upasana, the Chalangai Poojai featuring the senior students of Upasana, was held at the Indian Consulate Auditorium, Dubai, on Jan 8, 2004. The program was supported by Apollo Studios, Petrochem Middle East, Citibank NRI, Aramex and Abba Electronics.

The invocation started with a soulful rendition of the prayer song by the younger students of Upasana. This was followed by Pusphanjali and Alarippu. All the thirty students of Upasana took part in the three-piece invocation. The brilliant costumes lit up the stage, and the coordination impressed the audience.

The next piece portrayed the grandeur of Lord Shiva, the Lord of Dance. The footwork and coordination in the jatiswaram, which followed, was excellent.

Vinita Pratish, a senior student, performed a scintillating piece on Lord Shiva, a good example to the younger aspirants. Her maturity and expertise was evident in her presentation.

Vamana Avatar

Deepa Ganesh then took the stage to explain the pièce de résistance of the evening – the Dasa Avataram. The next 20 minutes was enthralling, as the 300 strong audience experienced the grandeur of the ten forms of the Lord. Each of the avatars was beautifully choreographed, and precisely executed. The pieces followed each other with such rapidity, and the young danseuses exhibited such poise and grace, that it was obvious they had practiced long and hard. What was heartening to note was that each child had sufficient opportunity to display her proficiency and talent. Children at the stage of Chalangai Poojai are not normally expected to be mature enough for abhinaya, but it was amazing to see the range of emotions they portrayed. The applause at the end of each avatar, and at the end of the piece said it all.

The thillana provided a fitting end to the program. The stage came alive as the students flawlessly executed the fast paced, intricately woven piece.

The Chief Guest, Mr. Ponnuswamy, Consul, Indian Consulate Dubai, mentioned that even laypersons not familiar with dance would have understood the Dasa Avataram, so vividly was it portrayed. 

As the curtains came down, parents, students and well-wishers bade Deepa a tearful farewell, as she with her family is preparing to leave Dubai by the end of January.

Some quotes from the audience, after the program:
“There was no compromise on classicism through the program; despite that, every one in the audience sat through the program because they appreciated it.”

“ It is hard to believe they are kids with so much maturity and perfection.”