Jul 12 2017

Bharathanatyam Arangetram

Published by at 11:09 pm under Family


Once again, the blog had a long break because of an India trip. Trips to India didn’t lead to a break in blog posts earlier. If anything, the blog used to temporarily become more relevant as I caught up on the latest movies in Chennai theaters and wrote the reviews. But the trips these days have become quite different. This trip was a particularly busy one with events, both good and bad, making it a roller-coaster of a trip emotionally.


The highlight of the trip was my daughter’s Bharathanatyam arangetram, which we held in Chennai. While the remote planning and coordination made things tough in the months leading up to the arangetram and led to occasional misgivings about the decision to hold the event in Chennai, those doubts evaporated both during and after the event.


The arangetram was held in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mylapore. TheĀ auditorium was excellent and the staff was very helpful for everything like lighting and decorations. The chief guest was famed dancer Chitra Visweswaran. As I told my daughter, I have barely any knowledge of Bharathanatyam but even I know about Chitra Visweswaran and that just goes to show how famous she is. The guest of honor was Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala. Kavya was blessed to be able to perform her arangetram in front of such luminaries and receive their feedback and blessings.


The audience was definitely the biggest reason for my happiness at conducting the event in Chennai. If held in the US, the seats would have been mostly filled by the parents of other kids from the dance school, people I barely knew. And most of them would’ve been there because of Kavya’s association with the dance school rather than because they personally knew her(or us). But the venue being Chennai meant that the audience was composed almost entirely of family and friends. So I personally knew most of them. These were all people who genuinely cared for Kavya, wished her well and wanted to see her succeed. Most of them being Chennai residents who enjoyed the arts, they also liked Bharathanatyam and really enjoyed the performance. So the comments and wishes heaped upon Kavya during and after the performance felt sincere and real. And Kavya felt it too. She was initially not too happy about doing the arangetram in Chennai since her friends wouldn’t be able to attend and she didn’t know many people outside the close circle of relatives. But she was thrilled about the venue and the chief guests and the heartfelt outpouring of wishes after she finished and is now completely happy that the event was held in Chennai.


She did a fabulous job on stage. She was incredibly nervous in the green room and even in a little bit of pain because of some parts of the costume. But none of it showed when she was dancing. I haven’t seen her dance the last few months as she has been practicing for the arangetram and so I saw a huge improvement in her dancing. Her expressions were terrific and she looked very professional as she performed with a lot of grace. The pieces had been selected with care to showcase her grace and expressions and she aced all of them. My favorites were Angayarkanni Varnam, which showcased all nine emotions of Goddess Meenakshi, and Thottu Thottu Pesa Varaan, a song about Lord Krishna’s playfulness, but all the pieces were beautiful and my heart swelled with pride as I watched her dance.


There was a huge sense of relief as the curtains came down – both literally and figuratively – after the Thillana. As Kavya finally relaxed and accepted all the wishes showered upon her, it was certainly one of my proudest moments as a parent…

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Bharathanatyam Arangetram”

  1. Prakash says:

    Wow. Proud moment for Kavya and her entire family. Congrats!

  2. ganesh says:

    Heartiest congratulations to your daughter BB. Great stuff. If possible do upload some short clips from this event!

  3. Mallik says:

    Congratulations Mr. Balaji. Very happy for you and for your daughter. All the very best to Ms. Kavya.

  4. Nima says:

    Congrats Kavya and to the proud parents.

  5. Prakash says:

    And oh, you also mentioned bad events. Hopefully nothing too bad.

  6. Ramesh 1 says:

    Congratulations – awesome achievement! Hope you rewarded her well šŸ˜‰

  7. Swapna says:

    I am so glad that I was able to make it to her Arangetram. My mom was actually surprised that people are having Arangetrams in India all the way from US. Kavya was looking very beautiful and I could see after the initial few steps, she was totally at ease. All the best and good luck to her. The real test though is to see if she will continue dancing after Arangetram ?. I wish she does because she has the grace.

  8. Swetharan says:

    Congrats Balaji.

  9. Harish says:

    BB, absolutely a proud moment! My daughter is 9 now and is learning Bharathnatyam as well and I know how it feels during their first performance (even if it is in a group) and I can sense the excitement as a dad when they are on for their arengetram. Fantastic achievement BB. Often, people forget the amount of work parents have to do, especially in the US shuttling kids and timing it just right between their kids and classes. For that perseverance, hats off to your wife and you. A functional person myself, I would have questioned the decision to go to Chennai but I think I will consider it too if and when my kid is ready for it.

    Last but not the least, pass my congrats to Kavya too.

  10. Gayatri says:

    Amazing post! congrats balaji.

  11. Balaji says:

    Prakash/Mallik/Nima/Ramesh/Swetharan/Gayatri, thanks!

    ganesh, will do once the event video is ready.

    Swapna, she does seem to have more interest after the arangetram and the compliments she got. So I’ve a bit more hope now that she’ll continue dancing :)

    Harish, yes seeing them dance on stage is a terrific feeling and it was exponentially more terrific seeing her dance during the arangetram :)
    I questioned the decision to hold it in Chennai many times as we were preparing for it. But as I mentioned we have absolutely no regrets now.

  12. Vijayan says:

    Now, imma thinkin about Soundarya Dhanush’s “rana-koduram bharatanatyam” infront of foreign spectators on World Women’s Day I guess

    Dunno why, it just flashed thru my mind (along with Shiva’s mockery of Prabu Deva’s Kadhalan Bharatnatyam gig in his Tamizh Padam) when I came across B’s post

  13. Sujatha Ramesh says:

    Congrats to Kavya and parents…lot of effort in having it in Madras I bet..

    Kavya is looking very beautiful ! i remembered her toddler picture u posted years before !
    kids are all grown up…

    My best wishes to her..