On Aug 15, 2015 we were treated to a delightful 3 hour Bharatanatyam performance showcasing the artistry, versatility, maturity and endurance of our talented teenager Jwala Rejimon. This event was the culmination of careful planning and organization by her parents and teacher. The Zionsville Performing Arts Center has the right kind of stage, hall and acoustics for such an event. Finding a suitable orchestra to provide live music accompaniment is crucial; getting the award-winning vocalist Smt. Arthi Kumar was just serendipitous.
Jwala learns Bharatanatyam dance from Smt. Mangala Anand whose students amaze me with their precision and synchrony. The process of preparing with different teachers has also helped build her confidence and comfort level on stage. Jwala started her performance with the traditional invocations to Lord Nataraja (Lord of Dance) and Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. These were followed by 2 pieces that showcased her Nritta skills, and then a Shabdam that highlighted her expressiveness. This was followed by the longest and most complex piece, a Varnam, which alternated between fast footwork and Abhinaya. The second half featured story-telling – a naughty Krishna is caught stealing butter, and pleads charmingly with his mother; Lord Shiva as a Shilpi; stories from the Ramayana featuring Ahalya’s release from a curse, the forest dweller Shabari giving fruit to the hungry princes Rama & Lakshmana, Rama stringing the mighty bow of Janaka, etc. Jwala concluded the program with a Tillana by Sri Lalgudi, and then Mangalam. Three hours flew by quickly, with the audience mesmerized by the variety and smooth fluidity of the performance. I am still amazed at her balance and ability to do the difficult Yoga poses toward the end of such a grueling routine.
As if all that was not enough of a feast, the arangetram was followed by an excellent dinner.
Dr. Parvathy Hadley
Dr. Parvathy hails from Thrissur. Earned a BSc Physics with First Rank from Kerala University, BE in Electrical Communications Engg from IISc, Bangalore, MS and PhD in CS from USA. Worked for 17 years in designing CNC machines for metal fabrication; the last 20 years in the auto industry speech technologist at Delphi Automotive Systems, also various automation and safety programs. Served as secretary and president of Carnatic Music Association of Indianapolis, organizing Tyagaraja festival / Pancharatna singing etc. She has learnt several languages, a small amount of Hindustani music and a good amount of western classical music.