Indhu Pathmanathan - A dance prodigy  
- N Ramkumar, Dubai 

June 7, 2006 


The venue was the new sparkling Wellington School Auditorium in Dubai. In the midst of all the euphoria about the construction of largest shopping malls and tallest buildings in the world, the 500 plus audience who assembled on 26th evening of May, were privileged to be part of a master piece of another kind. Indhu Pathmanathan, a talented budding youngster from the UAE, presented a brilliant Bharatanatyam Arangetram performance to an appreciative audience.  

Indhu started her dance journey at the tender age of 5 when she was spotted by Lakshmi Venkatesh, a well known Bharatanatyam artiste and teacher from Dubai. For the last 6 years she has been meticulously practicing this divine art with able guidance and support from her parents and guru. On the chosen day of her Arangetram, she ably demonstrated her abundant talent in great measure, bringing out the finer nuances of synergy of bhava, raga, thala and natyam in a 150 minute effort.  

She started with the traditional Maha Mantras and Guru Vandanam to Mataji Nirmala Devi, Founder of the Sahaja Yoga and spiritual form of meditation and stress management, which has many dedicated followers in more than 100 countries around the globe including the Gulf. Following that, she presented different numbers ranging from the traditional Pushpanjali and Varnam to the final snake dance with a mix of some classical ragas and folk music. 'Jaya Janaki Ramana' of Purandara Dasa which is a very popular Bhajan number, drew lot of applause as also the Kavadi Chindu in praise of Lord Muruga. The best piece, of course, was the Thillana set to Revathi Raga, which brought out her talent to the fore.  

Throughout the performance, she maintained a pleasant posture with excellent hand, eye and feet coordination which would have done a veteran proud. The choice of excellent numbers demonstrated her prowess in various disciplines of this popular dance form. Indhu seems to have a bright future ahead if she is groomed further with the same determination. What was really admirable was the fact that in spite of being away from the Bharatanatyam home in the cultural capital of India, Chennai, she still managed to catch up with peers of her age. I am sure that she would go a long way in inspiring children of similar age group to take up such arts and disciplines rather than wasting their precious time in typical Gulf activities like internet, movies, mobile phones and so on.  

Her accompaniments on vocal, mridangam, violin and veena were also eminent local artistes who rose to the occasion. Indhu was felicitated by Mr. Asokhan of the Indian Consul General office in Dubai, Mr. Madvarao, Principal, Our Own High School as well as the Executive Principal of Wellington School. At the end of the day, the happiest person of course other than her parents must have been her guru Lakshmi Venkatesh who had put heart and soul into preparations for this Arangetram. What better joy for a teacher than to find her pupil performing to such high standards in trying to emulate the guru herself.