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Ashwini Nagappan’s Bharatanatyam Arangetram


shwini Nagappan, daughter of Ram Nagappan and Devi Nagappan,

especially ‗Chinnanchiru kiliye‘ was the highlight of the program. ‗Varanam aayiram‘

portraying aandaal,

Semmozhiyana Tamizhmozhi and the Shivathandavam also had won wide applause. Dancing to thirukkural as a padam was very novel. The audience could connect well to the songs as all of them were in Tamil. Also, the introduction before each piece in a poetic form added interest. There was so much variety in the different arangetram pieces as well as the costumes and their matching accessories. The way Ashwini performed each of the nine items involving a costume change, with the same brilliance and enthusiasm showed her passion and mastery. While the beauty and perfection in the Ashwini‘s nritta, nrithya and natya was a treat for our eyes, the live music through the nattuvangam

by Guru Selvi

Chandranathan, the vocal by Smt. Bama Visveswaran, the mridangam by Sri. Mayuram J. Shankar, the flute by Sr. P. Venkata Ramana and Veenai by Sri. Mudikondan Ramesh was a feast for our ears.

performed her Bharatanatyam Arangetram at the Ridge High School Performing Arts Center in New Jersey. She has been learning the skill of Bharatanatyam in the kalakshetra style under the tutelage of Guru Selvi Chandranathan , founder of Bharata Kala Nrithyakshetra. Ashwini is a freshman at Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren, NJ.

From Ashwini‘s pushpanjali invoking the blessings of Lord Vinayaga, the Jathiswaram that followed and the Thillana later, her prowess in ‗Nritta‘ was evident through the graceful movements and the rhythmic footwork. Her abhinayam in the subsequent shabdam, varnam and padams,

Our Ayya’s Sathabishekam T 26

The choicest was chosen for every aspect of the event. Creativity and innovation was beaming through the magnet sent earlier to the invitees to save the date, the invitation, the video, the completely personalized guest book and the hall reception. The stage decoration with thematic details created an illusion of a mandapam in twilight and was spell binding for a moment when the curtain was raised. The chief guests for the arangetram were Ashwini‘s role models – three time ‗Emmy‘ award winner and WPIX news anchor Sukanya Krishna and CNN hero Krishnan Narayanan who is the founder of

by: Sumathi Arumugam & Abimanyu Singaram

his summer our families went to India to celebrate our Ayya, Arumugam Chettiar‘s 80th birthday. In our culture, this is commonly known as the Sathabishekam, a very grand ceremony that the family celebrates. So why is it called Sathabishekam and why is it

considered special in our culture? Well, ―Satha‖ means always and ―Abishekam‖ means auspicious. The Sathabishekam is significant because they say that the person has seen 1000 full moons during his lifetime. Our Ayya‘s Sathabishekam was a very grand auspicious event that took place in our native village, Paganeri. The full ceremony took place over the course of 3 days. The main event took place on July 20th, 2011. It was a grand event that was celebrated with over 600 attendees. On the first day, our close relatives came to officially begin the function. On the second day of the function, our Ayya and Appatha gave the dresses to wear for the next day to all of us as a gift

September 2011

by murugappan p. chettiar

Akshya trust. Ashwini dedicated all her gifts to support Akshaya‘s humanitarian efforts in Madurai. Her parents matched her contribution and presented Akshaya Trust with a check for ten thousand dollars.

A celebratory Chettinad dinner from Anjappar was served after the program. The dessert bar was abundant with ‘ilaneer payasam’, pumpkin halwa, ice cream, and freshly cut fruits.

The meticulous planning by Ashwini‘s parents and the flawless execution by family and friends made the event grand. The presence and blessings of over a thousand guests made it even grander!

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