Lankan tradition conjoins Bharata Natyam repertoire

A correspondent – 

Sethmi Ranasinghe performed her Bharata Natyam Arangetram at Maidment Theatre in Auckland on November 22, 2015.

She presented nine numbers depicting a range of Bharata Natyam repertoire along with a traditional Sri Lankan Kandiyan style dance to a popular Sinhala song. This was a special number narrating the famous Sigiriya Rock in Sri Lanka.

This dance combined the steps of Bharata Natyam and Sinhala styles.

Homage to Mother

Sethmi started the programme with ‘Amma Kauthuvam,’ dedicated to her mother.

This was followed by ‘Shamukha Kappu,’ ‘Jatheeswaram,’ ‘Sigiri Parwatha Pranthaye’ (Sinhala song) and a dance for the famous ‘Note Song,’ popularised by the great Carnatic vocalist the late Madurai Mani Iyer.

Sethmi took the audience back to their young age with Varnam, ‘Annaiyai Maravenadi.’  Holding them captive for 30 minutes, she demonstrated the dancing skills that she had learnt under her Guru Renuka Ketheesan, Director & Principal of Sai Natyalaya.

Dedication to Lord Shiva

A soulful rendition of ‘Shadarksharam’
A soulful rendition of ‘Shadarksharam’

The second half of the concert comprised ‘Bho Shambho’, dance of the magnificent Lord of dance, Lord Shiva to the lyrics of ‘Kaakai Chiraginile’ (by Bharatiyar) ‘Shadarksharam’ and ‘Thillana.’

Each dance item demonstrated the dancer’s bakthi, dedication, hard work and passion for perfection and involvement in Bharata Natyam and the meticulous training imparted by Ms Ketheesan.

Dance Maestro Madurai R Muralidharan also deserves credit for choreography and music.

Soon after her birth in 2001, Sethmi migrated with her family to New Zealand.

Keen interest

While she evinced keen interest in this ancient dance form since her formative years, Sethmi started learning Bharata Natyam when she was six years old from Ms Ketheesan.

Sethmi maintained good control and confidence throughout the recital, marked by captivating abhinaya and scintillating footwork.

Sethmi was accompanied by S Bhavani Kishore Kumar (Vocal), Kundil Kesavan Narayanan (Mridangam) and N Veeramani (Violin).

Dr Yogini Rathnasabathy (Waitemata District Health Board) was the Guest of Honour.

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