New Delhi: A student from the Diaspora will perform a Bharatanatyam Arangetram in Singapore, respecting the traditional Indian classical dance form in a predominantly multicultural nation that is a melting pot of diverse cultures like Peranakan, Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and Eurasian.
Ms. Vaidehi Bodhankar, the 15-year-old permanent resident of Singapore, will present her first solo performance on stage this Sunday, amid a select audience which includes Singapore Minister of Culture Edwin Tong SC. The Arangetram, called “NrityaKalanjali”, will be jointly organized by the Global Indian Cultural Center and Apsaras Arts Singapore.
A number of well known Indian artist / gurus such as K. Hariprasad, V. Vedakrishnaram, JB Sruthi Sagar, Easwar Ramakrishnan and KS Balakrishnan recorded a special track for NrityaKalanjali. Vaidehi was trained for her Arangetram by her gurus – Shri Mohanapriyan Thavarajah, Ms. Seema Hari Kumar and Ms. Gayathri Chachithanandar.
Bharatanatyam, which is a 2000-year-old Indian classical dance form originating in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India, has now spread throughout the world. After years of formal training, the student, with the blessing of her guru, presents her debut with great devotion. called Arrangetram, which literally means going on stage. The Arangetram is a milestone for an aspiring Bharatanatyam dancer.
While Arangetram has always been performed in India by followers of classical Indian dance forms, it is heartwarming to know that the Indian Diaspora also celebrates Arangetram with so much dedication and devotion.
Ms. Vaidehi is among the members of the Indian community who maintain their cultural roots and cherish their rich heritage through training in classical arts. Her parents, Dr Wrushali Bodhankar and Mr. Kaustubh Bodhankar, while fully immersed in Singapore’s multicultural setup, decided to imbibe Indian values ââand culture in their daughters.
âAs a child, Vaidehi has always been fascinated by our Ramayana and Mahabharata epics. So, rather than enrolling her in another dance form, I thought it was more appropriate for her to learn one of our classical dance forms such as Bharatanatyam, which will bring her closer to her roots. even though we live far from India, âsaid Dr. Wrushali Bodhankar.
Vaidehi started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 4 and after formal training at the Global Indian Cultural Center for over a decade, she will present NrityaKalanjali.
âWhen I was four, I read a lot of Amar Chitra Kathas, which my father bought me on his trips to India. I was quite fascinated by the stories of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. I never imagined that I could live these stories through my dance and the more I learned about mythological stories, the more I learned about mudras and expressions. I started to understand the essence that I have to capture through my dance. Bharatanatyam is not just dance, but an amalgamation of our rich culture and traditions, âVaidehi said, when asked what prompted her to take Bharatanatyam.
Vaidehi added, âThe Global Indian Cultural Center has also given me the opportunity to showcase my talent and passion in temples and at events such as India’s Independence Day, India’s National Day. Singapore and Chinese Lunar New Year. It was an honor to receive these opportunities not only to showcase our rich Indian cultural heritage, but also to play a role, however small, in promoting racial and religious harmony in Singapore.
Watch the live stream at the link below:
Date: June 27, 2021
Time : 3:00 p.m. India time
The Global Indian Cultural Center (GICC) is a non-profit organization of the Global Indian Foundation. Established in 2002, GICC is committed to propagating the rich and varied cultural heritage of the Indian subcontinent and designed to provide an ideal learning environment for the diverse communities of Singapore. Through specific initiatives related to Indian culture and tradition, GICC offers a rewarding educational experience that goes beyond academic horizons. The center is well known within the Singapore community for offering a wide range of activities covering the disciplines of the performing arts, including classical dance forms Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak, singing lessons and classical Carnatic instruments. and Hindustani, notably the flute and the keyboard. The yoga program started in 2005, with the aim of bringing communities together, has seen a remarkable participation of over 10,000 people on GICC campuses over the years.
About Apsaras Arts:
With over four decades of international experience in creating and presenting innovative dance productions, Apsaras Arts was founded as an educational institution in Singapore in 1977 by Singapore’s pioneers of the arts – MS Sathyalingam and Ms. NeilaSathyalingam, alumni of the Kalakshetra Foundation, India. Today, Apsaras Arts has grown into a leading professional performing company and gained recognition in Indian dance theater internationally, enjoying successful performances in Singapore and abroad. The company has created a repertoire of innovative dance productions, which are regularly performed by the company’s full-time professional dancers.