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Arangetram: a dream fulfilled for Kajal

July 25
01:17 2011

Kajal offering respects before Natraj Idol

KOKIE: Arangetram is a Tamil word which means the ‘etram’ or ascending of the ‘arangu’ or performance stage by a dancer, on the completion of her training. Kajal’s parents, Ketan Chokshi and Sonal Chokshi hosted an Arangetram event for their daughter on July 16 at the North Shore Center for Performing Arts in Skokie
An audience of roughly 200 guests attended the ten dances from two styles of Indian Classical dance, Bharatantyam and Kuchipudi.
Kajal became interested in dance form an early age by watching her mother perform in many shows. At the age of five she joined Natraj Dance Academy to find her passion in Indian Classical dancing. Since then she has continued to dance in many different ways. She performed in elementary and middle school talent shows. She has also performed at many different temples and shows.
Her Guru Vijayalakshmi Shetty is a leading Indian classical dance choreographer and teacher in the US. Under her guidance, Kajal has pursued these two dance styles over the past 11 years.
Using a range of facial expressions, rhythmic footwork, complex hand gestures and sinuous body movements, Kajal brought to life ancient stories, mythical scenes, poetry and song. Many in attendance, experiencing Indian classical dance for the first time, were treated to a virtuoso introduction to the art form.
In between dances, Kajal took the effort to explain the meaning and significance of each dance to those in the audience unacquainted with the Indian classical dance styles.
The performance commenced with several dances in the Kuchipudi style featuring nearly contorted twists and turns of the body and hands in which the dancer’s eyes and fingers are as much a part of the expression as the whirl of her body and feet.
Kajal’s subtle facial expressions, slight neck movements and hand gestures were integrated rhythmically with the music, evoking her inner happiness and creating a truly joyful spiritual experience. Her dances ranged from expressive pieces depicting sculptures coming to life, spiritual invocations, and celebrations of movement of “Krishna Leela Tharangini”.

Asian Media USA

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