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Houston Jyothika Rajagopalan’s Bharatanatyam Arangetram

July 23,2021 


Jyothika Rajagopalan’s Bharatanatyam Arangetram was held at the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland, Texas. It was filled with very close friends and family members which made the event even more memorable. Hemaswetha Rajagopalan, Jyothika’s sister, was the Master of Ceremony.

The program first started off with a Nataraja Pooja, where Jyothika received blessings from her guru, family, and friends. Jyothika and her guru, Smt. Indrani Parthasarathy recited a sloka to Lord Nataraja, and once finished, she would receive her salangas, also known as anklets, to continue with her Arangetram. 

She performed 8 pieces to represent the different Gods/Goddesses. Her first piece was Ananda Narthana Ganapathy talking about Lord Ganapathi through a very joyous style of dancing, followed by a Shabdam to Lord Krishna. This piece portrayed the naughtiness of Krishna as he consumes sand and steals butter. Her third piece was her Varanam to Lord Nataraja. Varanams are the most technical and difficult pieces, as they are longer than 30 minutes and are filled with fast beats and stories with appropriate facial expressions. Next, she performed a very different piece that caught her audiences’ eyes, a Kaavadi Chindu to Lord Muruga. Followed by Jyothika’s favorite piece, Mahakali Dhynam to Goddess Durga. She portrayed Mahashaki’s form as she kills the demon Mahishasuran, and ends the piece with a pose with her tongue out and wide-eyed. Another piece to Krishna, Aadinaye Kanne. This piece was filled with fast footwork and expressions to portray Krishna playing his flute. Finally, Jyothika performs her Thillana followed by a Mangalam to Lord Ayyappa. Her Thillana was filled with extremely fast footwork. The audience admired her energy throughout the event but was mesmerized by her smooth movements and adorable facial expressions. 

In between performances, Jyothika’s Guest of Honor also her Music teacher, Smt. Rajishree Krishnamurthy said some words about Jyothika’s growth as a person and dancer. Jyothika’s very close friends said a few words about their wonderful and beautiful friendship. After the performance, Jyothika’s guru, Smt. Indrani Parthasarathy presented the certificate of completing her Arangetram. The event ended with Jyothika’s parents, Rajagopalan and Dhanalakshmi, conveying their vote of thanks to their friends and family. 

About Jyothika: Jyothika started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of five under the guidance of Smt. Indrani Parthasarathy. Due to personal reasons, she had to quit and then rejoined at the age of eleven. She is a very active academic student and a member of her Tamil community. She is very good at time management, which is why she was able to properly juggle all of her extra-curricular activities and academics. She has participated in many cultural events held by various organizations such as Bharathi Kalai Mandram. Her parents are originally from Chennai, Tamilnadu but have lived in the United States for 23 years. Jyothika is currently a second-year student at the University of Houston Honors Program majoring in Psychology and minoring in Medicine and Society. 

About Smt. Indrani Parthasarathy: Guru Smt. Indrani Parthasarathy, the founder and Director of the “Abhinaya School of Performing Arts” is the daughter disciple of Karnataka Kala Thilaka Guru, Smt. Radha Sridhar of Bangalore, India. She is also a student of Guru Muththiah Pillai in Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam, and M.R. Krishnamurthy, the Dhananjayans in the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam. She is trained in the Kuchipudi style of dancing and Carnatic Music. Smt. Indrani Parthasarthy has been training young dancers for more than thirty years training students in all levels of Bharatanatyam creating wonderful dancers. 

- Our NRI Reporter Sheela Ramanan

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