Report 
 

Memorable arangetram of Sahithya  
- Bharani 
 

September 20, 2006 

 
The Bharatanatyam arangetram of Sahithya, the daughter of Dr. Usha Sree Chamarthy and disciple of Sandhya Sree (Founder and Director, Natya Dharmi Foundation for Performing Arts),  took place on the 26th of August at the Wallace F Smith theatre, Oakland Community College, Farmington Hills, Michigan.  

Sahithya started her arangetram in a rather novel way, by reciting select slokas from the Natya Sastra. Through these slokas, she invoked the blessings of the Lord of Dance and all the 'Ranga adi devathas,' her guru and all those gurus who have given us this divine art, and Bhoomi Devi.  This set the mood for an auspicious beginning in "Poorvaranga Vidhi," an off-beat to the regular Pushpanjali and Alarippu.  This item was the choreography of the doyen of Bharatanatyam, the late Mysore K Venkatalakshamma and passed on to Sandhya Sree through her guru B Bhanumathi. 

Jathiswaram, in the ragam Abhogi was a special composition by Sahithya's grandmother Indira Devi for this arangetram.  It was executed with precision, clarity of adavus and jathi patterns.

The Sabdam was eliminated to give way to an elaborate Padavarnam (45minutes).  "Bhavayami Raghuramam" was the chosen song presented in the Padavarnam format (choreographed by Guru Swamimalai Rajarathnam Pillai) and 15 year old Sahithya rose to the challenge and proved her mettle as a complete dancer, one who has command over Nritta, Nritya and Abhinaya.  The audience sat spellbound as Sahithya portrayed the various episodes of the Ramayana.
 
The second half of the arangetram began with "Adenamma," a composition of Puliyur Doraiswamy Iyer. The highlight of this item was the mature portrayal by Sahithya of switching from one rasa to the next in the phrase "Navarasambu loluka..." This item is also an original choreographic work of Sandhya Sree's guru, Swamimalai Rajarathnam Pillai.  

Papanasam Sivan's "Nanoru Vilayattu Bommaya," was the next item, where Sahithya delighted the audience with her abhinaya for Sandhya Sree's imaginative choreography. In the popular Javali "Nee Maatale Mayanuraa," Sahithya's depiction of the heroine's mood matched that of a seasoned dancer.  It was truly a challenge for the 15 year old amateur to do justice to Sandhya Sree's appealing choreography.  

The arangetram had a fitting finale in the Khamas Tillana, another choreography of late Guru Swamimalai Rajarathnam Pillai.  This was followed by the signature Mangalam of Sandhya Sree's school. On the occasion of her graduation in Bharatanatyam, Sahithya was awarded the title of Nritya Nandini by her teacher Sandhya Sree.  Sahithya received the award from her grand parents C V Gopala Rao and Indira Devi. 

Sahithya was supported by Sandhya Sree on the nattuvanagam, which reminded many in the audience of the latter's own illustrious guru, Swamimalai Rajarathnam Pillai.  Indira Devi, the mother of Sandhya Sree and grandmother of Sahithya proved to be the backbone of the orchestra, with her powerful vocal support.  On the mridangam was Saravanan Sundararajan who is the rare combination of being a dancer and mridangist. Jayashanker Balan on the violin, Partha Sreenivasan on the flute and Kamya Shanker on the veena were the other accompanists who ably supported the dancer. 

Sahithya is the niece and disciple of Sandhya Sree. She has trained for almost 8 years under the watchful guidance of her mentor.  Like her guru, she is training in the two dance styles of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi and aspires to be an accomplished artiste in both styles. Sahithya is also learning Carnatic classical music from her grandmother Indira Devi.   

God bless Sahithya for a bright academic and artistic future.