Arangetram- A Ceremonial Milestone
Arangetram is the occasion when the student is presented in a full-length solo performance after having undergone many years of intense training. It marks the completion of the first phase of learning and the beginning of a new phase in a dancer’s unending quest for excellence. Arangetram is a ceremonial occasion with its roots going back to the devadasi tradition, marking the transition of the devadasi from a student to a fledgling performer, competent to undertake the responsibility of upholding the dance tradition.
While the devadasi tradition itself has disappeared, the Arangetram tradition has come to be absorbed into the modern practice of Bharata Natyam. Today, Bharata Natyam has come to represent all that is refined in Indian culture. Arangetram then becomes a supreme symbol of that refinement.
During her tenure as the Dance Director of India Foundation in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Asha has presented several Arangetrams of students who were enrolled in the Cultural Program of the Foundation. Please visit the Arangetram Photo Gallery to see images of these events.
Vijaya Dasami – It’s Significance
Vijaya dasami is the occasion when we honor all arts and learning, in particular, the performing arts of dance and music. Thus, this occasion is of immense significance to students of dance and music.
Vijaya dasami is the tenth day of the Navaratri festival. Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit. It is a festival dedicated to the worship of Shakti, the cosmic energy thought to move through the entire universe.
During these nine nights, different manifestations of Shakti are worshiped in the forms of Durga (goddess of strength) Lakshmi (goddess of wealth) and Saraswati (goddess of learning).
The festivities culminate on Vijaya dasami which is the tenth day to celebrate the victory (Vijaya) of Knowledge and Truth over ignorance and prejudice. It is considered favorable to begin any new venture in learning on this day.
On Vijaya dasami, students present what they are studying in the presence of family and friends to honor this tradition of dance and music.