Dr. Anjuman Ali's Arangetram
by Heidi Pascual
     I thank ...
When I dance, little else exists. I am at my happiest.
      For that, I thank my parents for introducing me to this beautiful art. I thank my gurus Shri. Krishna Panicker and Kripa Baskaran. Panicker Sir gave a strong base, and Kripa nurtured it with infinite patience and care. Without her encouragement and creativity, this arangetram wouldn't have been possible. And I am immensely grateful to my brother Zakir and my friends all over the world for tehir support and love.

-- Dr. Anjuman Ali
     Anjuman's program began with the pushpanjali, a traditional invocatory dance offering flowers to Lord Ganesha, the Guru, Mother Earth, and the audience. The next dance was the varnam, the central and longest piece which tested the mettle of the dancer. The elaborate dance showed all the movements of bharatnatyam, through Anjuman's skills at Nritta (pure dance) and Abhinaya (mime and expression). After a short intermission, Anjuman treated her audience to a padam, an expressive dance that spoke of love, anguish, devotion, and joy. anjuman continued her arangetram with a dance that described the michief of Lord Krishna as a youth, and concluded with the Thilana, a complex series of beats -- adavus and korvais -- that praised Lord Rama.
arangetram was a testament to the artist's devotion to bharatnatyam, and her outstanding performance was no ordinary feat.
     Anjuman Ali wrote this thanks in her arangetram program on June 11 at The Playhouse of the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. With a live orchestra composed of Kripa Baskaran (Nattuvangam); Ramya Kapadia and Sanjay Sri Balusu (vocals); Gowrishankar Blachandran (Mridangam); and Raman Kalyan (flute), Anjuman Ali performed her graduation recital in bharatnatyam with the grace and elegance of the classic dancer. This arangetram is the culmination of her many years of training in bharatnatyam, starting in Bombay, India at age six. She continued her training under Kripa Baskaran of the Natyarpana School of Dance, an exceptionally talented classical dancer and an acclaimed creative choreographer.
August 2006 Issue