Though they performed like pros, the “Abhikrama” recital presented by Anjana Sridharan and the “Natyalahari” show presented by Asha Viswanath and Keertana Avalur, happened to be their first classical dance performance in Sydney. Anjana, Asha and Keertana are all students of the popular Dr. Gayatri Krishnamurthy – founder-director of Thrayee School of Bharatanatyam in Sydney.
“Abhikrama” the “Arangetram” of Anjana Sridharan was held on Saturday February 3 at the Bryan Brown Theatre, Bankstown. “Arangetram” – (meaning first stage performance) is the launch pad for any emerging Bharatanatyam dancer and signifies the combined effort of dance gurus and their students, who are passionate about dance.
This was followed by a delightful “Annamarcharya Kriti Dolayam” presentation. Generally, Varnams are considered complex but Anjana’s delivery was smooth, combined with energy and poise. Followed by two other beautiful numbers “Keertanam” and “Padam”, Anjana concluded her maiden performance with a mesmerising Thillana.
“Anjana has successfully delivered the Arangetram numbers in just three months. Anjana’s commitment as a student makes me proud. With every student I am also learning,” beamed her guru, Dr Gayathri Krishnamurthy. The vocal and instrumental support to the dance numbers were delivered by Radha Badri of Chennai with local talents Bala Sankar Shastri on Mridangam, Kranti Kiranm Mudigonda on violin and Venkatesh Sridharan on flute.
“Natyalahari” – the arangetram performances of Asha Viswanath and Keertana Avalaur was held on February 10 at the National Institute of Drama and Arts (NIDA) Theatre in Sydney. With a graceful entry, Asha Viswanath and Keertana Avalur performed the devotional number Shivastuthi in praise of Lord Shiva. This was followed by the “Jatiswaram”, a piece originally composed more than 70 years ago by a famous dancer from Chennai, Dhananjayan.
The musical support to “Natyalahari” was provided by Dr Gayatri Krishnamurthy on Nattuvangam, Mrs Radha Badri and Sindhuja Ganapathy on vocal support, Kalaiarasan Ramnanathan on violin, Bala Sankar on Mridangam and Venkatesh Sridharan on flute.
Besides being talented performers, Anjana Sridharan is a visual communication designer and illustrator by profession while Asha Viswanath is a student of Law & Arts in the University of New South Wales. She has also won the Premier’s awards for her fundraising activities and achieved Duke of Edinburgh’s award (Gold level). Keertana Avalur, on the other hand, is a student of Health Sciences in La Trobe University, Bendigo. She is an all-rounder with many achievements and being the Australian Ambassador for International Round Square conference held in Bhopal, India, is just one of them.