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Nattuvangam | Smt. Revathi Kumar

She will verbalize the rhythm of the dancer’s steps.

Vocal | Smt. Latha K. Ramaswamy

She has given Carnatic music concerts under the tutelage of Smt. Usha Char and performed as the lead vocalist for a number of Bharatha Natyam & Kuchupudi performances. She is also an accomplished and versatile stage actress, writer, director, dance choreographer and playwright. Latha has received a citation from MD Governor Robert Ehrlich for her valuable contribution to the promotion of Indian arts in the US. Latha is a Software Engineer by profession.

Mrudangam | Sri. Srinath Bala

Having been initiated by Late Sri. Krishnan, Srinath learnt under Sri. R. Ramesh and then under Maestro Padmabhushan Sangeetha Kalanidhi Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman. He won the PG Arts Council Award in 2006 when he presented a TalaVadya concert titled “Music Through Membranes”. He has received the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award (2008). He teaches Mridangam at the Jayamangala School in Maryland. He works as a consultant at Microsoft Research, Bangalore, India.

Violin | Smt. Sandhya Srinath

She is a disciple of Late Sri. V Janakiraman and has received advanced training under Prof. T. N. Krishnan and Sri. Lalgudi G. Jayaraman.She is a Gold Medalist in M.A./M.Phil in Carnatic Music at Delhi University. She has given many solo performances and has accompanied many senior and top class musicians and dancers. She is an “A” grade artist of All India Radio and Doordarshan. She has given demonstrations at various Universities and has received prestigeous awards in India and USA. She teaches Violin through an online teaching portal to students worldwide.

Flute | Sri. Bharatwaj Gopalakrishna

He began learning flute from Guru Kalaimamani Sri. Thiruvarur Swaminathan (Disciple of Dr. N. Ramani) when he was 10 years old. He has performed as a solo artist and collaborated with western artists/fusion bands. He works as an Operations Engineering Consultant and is currently living in Manassas, VA.

Mrs. Revathi Kumar learned Bharatha Natyam in the Thanjaavur style from Thanjaavur Pavu Pillai, and blossomed into a talented dancer under further tutelage from Pandhanallur Meenakshi Sundharam Pillai and ChockalingamPillai. She is the founder and Director of Abinaya Natya Sala, a flourishing dance studio in Ellicott City, MD. Mrs. Kumar has taught over a hundred students yearly for the past twenty years and has earned a reputation as an exceptional teacher and choreographer with exemplary patience and dedication to her students. Abinaya Natya Sala is the best known ambassador of this Indian art form in the region, and has performed at multiple fundraising programs for local as well as global causes including Haiti Relief, 9/11 victims, Operation Military Kids and Celiac research. Abinaya Natya Sala’s dancers are highly regarded and sought after and have earned special invitations from Howard County Public Schools to perform at their international festivals.

The Guru

The Disciple

Asmi was nine years old when she was first introduced to the art of Bharatha Natyam. She also studies classical Indian and western violin. She is actively involved in her school as President and founder of the Atholton Model United Nations Club, President of Student Leadership Cadre, and Vice President of the Math, Engineering, Science, and Achievement (MESA) Team. Asmi was honored in 2010 as a “Carson Scholar”. She served her community through the River Hill Community Association, as a Teen Representative, and ultimately as the “first” voting student Member on the village board. She was honored with the Maryland Woman of Tomorrow Award (2010), and received a citation from Governor Martin O’Malley for her excellence in academics and community service. Asmi would like to express her gratitude to her guru, family, and friends for their guidance and encouragement on this auspicious day.

Abinaya Natya Sala


Asmi Panigrahi

Bharatha Natya Arangetram

June 16th, 2012

Bharatha Natyam

Bharatha Natyam is one of the oldest classical dance forms, originating thousands of years ago in the temples of South India. Bharatha Natyam is derived from the four essential aspects of dance: Bha – bhava (expression); Ra – raaga (music); Ta – Talam (rhythm); and Natyam, meaning dance. This dance style is comprised of three distinct elements-Nritta (pure technical dance with intricate combinations and rhythmic patterns), Nritya (expressional dance using gestures, postures and facial movements), and Natya (interpretive dance or portrayal of different roles). Bharatha Natyam is the ancient idea of celebration of the eternal universe through the celebration of the beauty of the material body. This dance is dynamic, projecting beauty, strength, and grace in a precise style that spiritually connects the dancer to his or her Indian culture.


Arangetram is a Tamil word which literally translates to “ascending the stage”. References to Arangretram are extensively quoted in “Silappathikaram,” a 2nd century Tamil epic. Arangetram marks the blossoming of the student of Bharatha Natyam into a mature artist after the completion of several years of training. At this time, the guru is confident in the dancer’s ability to perform and presents the dancer to the audience for the “first” time. Although Asmi has performed in front of audiences before, this is her first complete and official performance to the public.

Program Master of Ceremony: Kum. Anita Ram Pushpanjali | Ragam: Arabi Talam: Adi

Pushpanjali literally means “offering flowers with folded hands” and is the invocatory piece of an Arangetram. The dancer seeks the blessings of God, her Guru, the accompanying artists, and the audience for the success of her dance performance.

Shiva Stuthi | Ragam: Ragamalika Talam: Adi This dance portrays the ecstatic and cosmic dancing of Lord Shiva. His four hands symbolize his powers: destructive fire, musical drums, preservation, and the lower right hand points to his left foot, symbolizing dance. Jatiswaram | Ragam: Hamsanadham Talam: Rupakam

This is a pure dance piece in which the performer weaves several patterns on a basic music composition based on the “Jathis,” meaning beats, and “Swaras,” meaning musical notes. It shows the dancer’s ability to perform quick and complicated dance sequences.

Varnam | Ragam: Valachi Talam: Adi

Varnam is the most enthralling, interesting, and challenging item in the Bharatha Natya Arangetram. It is a test of the dancer’s stamina and skill in rhythm and expression. In this Varnam, the dancer depicts Devayani, the wife of Lord Muruga. She confides in her friend that her husband has been enchanted by the hunter’s daughter, Valli. She wonders, “What can He possibly see in her to forget His duties to His wife?” In the second half of the Varnam, Devayani describes Lord Muruga’s attempts to win Valli by disguising Himself as an old man and later asking His brother Ganesha to come as an elephant to help Him.

Intermission Kannan vara Kaanene | Ragam: Ragamalika Talam: Adi

This young maiden anxiously awaits the arrival of Lord Krishna, also known as Kannan, as she reminisces on the beauty of his mesmerizing smile, his melodious music as well as his playful tricks and games.

Aanandha Natanam Aadinal | Ragam: Kambodhi Talam: Adi

This piece describes the joyous dance of Goddess Shakti with Lord Shiva as the three worlds sing her praise. Her cosmic dance makes the world go around, brings about life on earth and blesses the entire universe.

Shri Ramachandra Kripalu

Ragam: Yamuna Kalyani Talam: Misra Chapu This Tusidas bhajan is dedicated to Lord Rama, who annihilates the fears of his devotees and fills their hearts with joy. It beautifully depicts Lord Rama’s physical beauty and praises his glorious attributes.

Chala Sakhi | Odiya Bhajan Talam: Thisra Ekam

This is a Janana, a traditional Odiya Bhajan, in which a group of girls describe Lord Jagannath’s mesmerizing beauty, appearance and greatness on their way to visit him in Puri, His place of abode.

Thillana | Ragam: Gambeeravani Talam: Adi This is a fast paced musical dance composition which represents the climax of the recital, choreographed with intricate footwork and rhythmic patterns. It consists of a variety of movements performed to repeated lines of song, which builds up to a charanam, with a few lyrics on a deity or concept. This particular Thillana is in praise of Goddess Parvathi. Mangalam

This is the concluding piece of the dance recital during which the dancer thanks God, her Guru, the accompanying artists, and the audience for the successful completion of the performance.

Asmi's Program  

Asmi's Program