Mesmerizing ‘ARANGETRAM’ Performance by St Aloysius PUC Student Raychel Rose

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Mesmerizing & Enthralling ‘ARANGETRAM’ Performance by St Aloysius PUC Student Raychel Rose received loud applause from the audience at Town Hall, Mangaluru. Arangetram (in Tamil and in Malayalam, also known as “Rangapravesha” in Kannada or “Rangapravesham” in Telugu) is the debut on-stage performance of a former student of Indian classical dance and music that follows years of training in classical music and dancing.

Mangaluru: A simple and auspicious occasion has transformed into a lavish affair. For many it is the beginning of a career with possibilities; for some, it marks an end to a childhood hobby, to which an achievement certificate adds weight; for others, it is fulfilling a dream. Whatever the reason, Arangetram/Rangapravesha is a major affair today, much cherished and celebrated not just in Mangaluru but across the world. A fulfilling performance is one when the dancer can say “the audience saw what I saw”. Here is a young Bharatanatyam artist RAYCHEL ROSE conveyed to audiences everywhere the idea that Bharatanatyam is not simply entertainment, but must also ultimately be spiritually uplifting, and come from the heart.

Arangetram is a graduation performance that is part of the traditional format -the Margam (Path). It reflects the different stages of the dancer’s consciousness. In Tamil Aranga” means “Raised Stage” and Etram” means “Climbing”. Arangetram is also known as “Rangapravesha ”in Kannada. Arangetram is a test for the Shishya(student) as well as the Guru ( Teacher) as the Guru’s knowledge and shishya’s talent is judged by the audience. The Arangetram is only done when Guru feels that the Shishya is capable and talented enough to perform Arangetram.

RAYCHEL ROSE seen with her dad, Siby Thomas, Mom Ms Rashmi Joser and Brother, Rusus

Raychel wanted her relatives, friends and well-wishers to come and watch her dance performances, and also shower blessings on her so that the shows go on well and successfully- which will also encourage her to perform better. Originating from the court traditions of Southern India, the Bharatanatyam dance form balances elements of expression (bhava), melody (raga) and rhythm (tala) in an intense training regime that includes the study of yoga, Hindu mythology, history, drama and aesthetics.

The main purpose of Bharatanatyam dance is for the performer to evoke rasa, or feeling, in the audience through the precise recital of steps, gestures and facial expressions to offer prayers or convey stories from the great Hindu epics – and Miss Raychel following all those traditions always gave her best dance performance to awe the audience- and her performance at ‘Bharatanatyam Arangetram Was no exception, where she mesmerized the audience with her incredible two-hour plus dance performance.

 Bharatanatyam is a dance like no other in the world, requiring from its students a perfect blend of “spirituality, discipline, physical mastery, ritual and established form. All good dance is an expression of the soul and human emotion, thoughts and experience — but Bharatanatyam is, first and foremost, prayer and offering to the god’s. The ultimate goal is not the performance, but the closer connection between the dancer and the god- and I bet Raychel has proved that she had all these qualities when she performed in front of her family members, relatives, friends and well-wishers. Her love for this professional dance world has already reached greater heights in this traditional art.

There are many reasons Raychel’s name pops up in the list of talents to watch out for, not the least of which is this dancer’s single-minded devotion to her art. She credits her dance teachers, who were also her mentors, for motivating her to make the shift. In thanking her parents and gurus for supporting her dance talents, She commented that she feels privileged to have been given the opportunity to learn about her Indian cultural heritage through her study of Bharatanatyam dance. Born to dance as a child prodigy and now a young teenager, Raychel is a synonym for dance. Her creativity and zeal to explore the unexplored in dance is par excellence and unparallel.

Beginning her classical dance alphabets from Vidwan U K Praveen and Ms Usha Praveen of Kadri Nritya Vidya Nilaya Charitable Trust, Mangaluru, Raychel has been traversing in the field of Bharatanatyam for years with composing goals. Her rigorous, strict and vigil training under the very sought-after dance Guru, inbuilt in her, the nuances and technicality of nritta, dexterity of performance and sturdy base in Abhinaya.

The daughter of Siby Thomas and Ms Rashmi Jose, has a younger brother, Rusus, a student at St Theresa School, Mangaluru, nevertheless, a hardworking and supportive family is undoubtedly the spine of Remona’s National success. Currently pursuing her 1 PUC at St Aloysius PU College, Mangaluru she has been equally doing well in her academics, since high school. Having passed in flying colours, securing 97.4% from her alma Mater St Theresa School, Bendore, Mangaluru, Raychel has been a hardworking student and has involved herself in both curricular and extracurricular activities. She passed her junior grade Bharatanatyam examination conducted by Karnataka Secondary Examination Board with distib=nction.

The ‘Bharatanatyam Arengetram’ was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by Sr Lourdes Prince Mary B.S. -the Principal, St Theresa’s school; Vidushi Ms Nirmala Manjunath-Director, Nirmala Nritya Niketan, Bengaluru; Vidwan U K Praveen and Ms Usha Praveen of Kadri Nritya Vidya Nilaya Charitable Trust, Mangaluru; Rev Fr Mani Velthedthparambil- Parish Priest, St Alphonsa Church, Mangaluru, among others.

Speaking on the occasion, Sr Lourdes Mary, Principal of St Theresa’s school said, ” When expressions replace the lyrics of the song, we realise the true beauty of dance and that is what we all have witnessed today. I can proudly say that I have seen Raychel Rose bloom beautifully at St Theresa’s School. Her humility, simple nature and gentle words are a few virtues everyone has noticed. Raychel is a person, who has a strong character and self-confidence, a person highly motivated and has the spirit of ‘never give up. One could notice in her the determination to focus well on her academic, curricular and co-curricular activities”

“Very respectful and polite in her approach and I am sure that she has inherited it from her parents who also have the same approach. I always appreciated her Leadership qualities within the School and her contribution to keeping the flame of St Theresa burning brighter is remarkable. At all times she was observed to be at the top rungs of the ladder of success proudly holding the banner of success in her own unique manner – gently and amicably. So it is not wrong if I say that she is an all-rounder who is proficient in art, academics, sports and all activities. I have been noticing the role of her parents Siby Thomas and Mrs Rashmi Jose who was always her encouragement and support. They have raised their children well in values primarily along with all other activities. They were and are still great support to our school in all our programs including the social outreach programs”.

While concluding, Sr Lourdes said, “Now, coming to the star of the day, Raychel, it’s not luck. It’s God’s favour. As the Bible says that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love him and has a purpose for them. God bless you Raychel in the days to come with many more successes and may you continue to bloom forth in love and be a change in society”.

Fr Clifford Sequeira SJ, the Principal of St Aloysius PU College, Mangaluru who couldn’t be at the programme due to last minute engagement, speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “The Arangetram is an important and special occasion for any Bharatanatyam dancer. Bharatanatyam is the oldest classical dance heritage of India which embodies art in its purest form. We are immensely proud that after years of arduous training and hard work Ms Raychel Rose has showcased her talent on stage, unleashing her great dance talents. My prayer for her is that she uses every opportunity to ignite the flame within, discover her talents and realise her full potential. Follow your passion, pursue your dreams, spread your wings and fly sky-high. On this special occasion, we congratulate you and wish you all the very best. God bless!”

Also speaking on the occasion, Fr Mani Velthedthparambil said, “First of all we need to compliment Raychel’s parents for encouraging their daughter to take up the Indian art dance, which these days not many youth are interested in. No doubt, Raychel is a talented girl and has a very bright future in her interest in classical Indian dance. Dance matures like wine with age. Each time you dance it attains a new colour and a discerning audience who are willing to invest time and effort to appreciate it will be able to feel the presentation. Dance has to be dynamic, where universal emotions are taken up and translated into art to suit the contemporary mind. Watching Raychel’s performance today, I can say that this girl has got talents and she will shine much more in the years to come in Bharatanatyam dance”.

Raychel’s quest to learn other dance forms namely Kuchipudi, Kathak, Semi Classical, Folk, Yakshagana, Western and Contemporary dance, proffered her more opportunities to establish and explore as an ambassador of dance. With the grace of the Almighty, day and night toil of her family members and sheer talent, Raychel is determined and dedicated to her dancing career. She likes to absorb the dance, internalize the movements and make it as natural as breathing.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, her dance Guru Vidwan U K Praveen said, “I feel proud to have Raychel as my student, who is quick in learning and gives her the best while performing the Bharatanatyam. The purpose of Indian classical dance is to show the audience this ‘other’ reality which is quite different to the reality of everyday life. This is the third and ultimate stage that a good dancer reaches: the dancer as an artist. A dancer begins as a student and becomes competent as a dancer, and only then when she reaches the level of an artist, does she gain the ability to take the audience, and transport them, to a different reality. And for that matter, Raychel has accomplished all these talents through her magnificent performances, as a “Bharatanatyam Dancer”.

Nattuvangam was by Vidwan U K Praveen; Vocal by Vidushi Usha Praveen; Mridangam by Vidwan Githesh A G Nileswaram; Violin -Vidwan Sridhar Achar Padigar, Udupi; Flute- Vidwan Rajgopal V P, Kanhangad; and Makeup- Sunil Uchil. It was indeed a great dance extravaganza which enthralled the audience, and Raychel received loud applause from her fans. You Go Girl!

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