Summer provides a good opportunity for young classical dancers to test their skills

Summer holidays mean long hot days free from the bother of going to school, a happy indiscipline where bedtimes and waking up times can go topsy-turvy. Not for everyone though.

As spring turned into fire breathing summer, there were some in the Capital working harder than ever. These were the students of classical dance who had their solo debuts, also known as arangetram. Whether studies took a back seat or not, they were working hard on their dance.

This past month has seen a number of young dancers take the stage. Here are some of them:

Parvathy K.A.

A student of Jayaprabha Menon, Parvathy's chosen dance form is Mohiniattam. She has also done her M Tech in biotechnology and is currently working as an apprentice engineer in a firm. “I want to continue my dancing under the guidance of my teacher,” says Parvathy, whose first solo performance in New Delhi had the audience admiring her flair for facial expression.

Akshaya Ganesan

At 12, Akshaya can be said to have been dancing half her life. She started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of six under Gurus Marie and G. Elangovan and recently gave her first solo performance. Besides Bharatanatyam, Akshaya, a secondary school student, is also learning Carnatic music under Elangovan and piano under Nikhil Chawla.

Chandana S.

Another 12-year-old who just performed her Bharatanatyam arangetram is Chandana S., a student of Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan. Chandana benefitted from flowing tradition. She first began learning the art under Anuradha Venkataraman, herself a disciple of Guru Saroja.

Anaka and Thiruthi Ashokan

These two sisters, though separated by age, are birds of a feather. The sisters, disciples of Guru Rajeswari Natarajan, gave their debut performance recently at Delhi Tamil Sangam auditorium. When Anaka, now in class XII, began learning Bharatanatyam, her younger sister Thiruthi began picking up the art just by watching her classes. “She started to dance even before her training started,” says a generous Anaka about her younger sister, now in class VI. “She is very expressive. She is still small so she gets a bit tense, but I think she is a very good dancer, better than me,” says Anaka. That's sibling revelry for you!

Compiled by Anjana Rajan

Keywords: classical dance