‘Arangetram’: Coming of age of Bharatanatyam dancers
Dhrupad Kala Kendra, one of the leading Bharatanatyam dance schools, arranged a programme at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on December 5. The programme marked the on-stage debut of two Dhrupad Kala Kendra students.
Naziba Bashar and Farhana Mahmud Kashfi are the two dancers, who completed their extensive training in Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of noted artiste of the genre Shukla Sarkar.
Eminent cultural personalities including dancers and theatre activists attended the programme as guests. The guests lauded Shukla Sarkar's passionate endeavour to uphold the dance form, and welcomed both the emerging artistes into the cultural arena.
The graduation programme is formally known as 'Arangetram'. It refers to the debut stage performance of a Bharatanatyam dancer, after going through years of training.
Most take Bharatanatyam as a hobby; the training usually begins from a very young age. Very few make it their career, as Bharatanatyam is extremely demanding and complex in terms of dedication and daily practice. Both students and teachers cherish the 'Arangetram' event, as it is a recognition of their devotion.
At the National Theatre Hall, both Shukla Sarkar and her students seemed elated. The seasoned dancer informed that as a guru it was her fourth 'Arangetram'.
She also admired her students' passion for the difficult dance form. “Both Naziba and Kashfi are like my own children,” said Sarkar about her students at the programme.
'Arangetram' is also a test for the student as well as the guru, as the teacher's knowledge and the student's talent are evaluated by the audience. So 'Arangetram' is held only when the guru feels that the student is capable and talented enough to perform in front of an audience.
Eminent dancers Rahiza Khanam Jhunu, Zeenat Barkatullah, Shamim Ara Nipa and Amanul Haque were present at the programme. Noted theatre personalities Nasiruddin Yousuff, Shimul Yousuf and media personalities Afzal Hossain, M. Hamid, among others, congratulated Nazib and Kashfi on the occasion.
After completing some formalities to prepare for the performance, Naziba and Kashfi took the stage. They took part in a series of dance performances, which were staged in two parts, highlighting the different elements of Bharatanatyam.
Naziba, an A-Level student and Kashfi who completed her B.Sc in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, demonstrated the mudra and forms of Bharatanatyam including 'Alarippu', 'Stuti' and 'Tillana'.
With the mingling of bhava (expression), raaga and tala (rhythm), the performances seemingly enthralled the audience.