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Indian Classical Dance is not limited to one form of dance or rhythmic movement. There are eight different types of Indian Classical Dance (Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Manipuri, Mohiniyattam, Sattriya, and Bharatnatyam). Each type of Indian Classical Dance is unique to the region of India it originates from. However, in modern times, Indian Classical Dance has spread throughout every region in India and even the world.

The type of Indian Classical Dance that I have concentrated in is called Bharatnatyam. Once a Bharatnatyam student has reached a certain level of mastery in this art form, he or she performs an Arangetram, which is similar to a graduation in a dance recital form. My Arangetram will be held on Sunday August 22nd, 2010, and I hope you will be able to attend.

Below I have described for you the meaning of Arangetram and Bharatnatyam. I will also tell you about my dance experience.


  • Arangetram is equivalent to the student graduating the basics and fundamentals, and signifying the student's continuation into a deeper level and meaning of the art form.
  • Also known as the dance debut of a student who learns the Indian Classical Dance of Bharatnatyam, and has gone through years of training.
  • The Arangetram takes place when the Guru (teacher) feels the student is ready to undergo such a performance/task.
  • Traditionally, Arangetrams took place inside temples.


  • Bharathanatyam is a type of Indian classical dance, and is one of the oldest known art forms in India dating back 2,000 years ago.
  • The dance is taught according to the guidelines of Natya Shastra (The Order of Dance) written by Sage Bharatha.
  • The God, Shiva, embodies this form of dance, and is known as the cosmic dancer in Hindu mythology. His dance is vigorous and passionate, which perfectly describes Bharathanatyam.
  • The dance has three main aspects...
    • Nritta (rhythmic movements)
    • Nritya (movements when expression is emphasized)
    • Natya (drama)
  • The three components that make up each dance is...
    • Adavus (footwork)
    • Mudras (hand gestures)
    • Rasa (facial expressions)
  • My Dance Experience

    • I was introduced to dance by my first nanny when I was eighteen months old.
    • At the age of three my parents enrolled me for Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Hip-Hop classes at a neighborhood dance studio. I also started performing on the stage at annual dance recitals.
    • When I was six years old I joined the Shishya School of Fine Arts, and under the tutelage of my Guru Sukanya Mahadevan, I started to learn Bharathanatyam
    • Over the past ten years I have learned Bharathanatyam, and performed at the Shishya Schoolf of Fine Arts annual recitals.
    • I have been a student teacher at the Shishya School of Fine Arts for the last two years.

    Why I Love To Dance

    Dancing and learning Bharathanatyam has been a constant hobby for me almost my whole life. Even when I was young I loved to dance. Sticking to my goal to achieve the level I am at now has not been easy. It took constant determination, hard work, and endurance. However, every time I completed a dance or got a compliment from my teacher, I felt a sense of accomplishment and achievement. Leaning Bharathanatyam has also brought me closer with my Indian heritage, and has taught me about Hindu Mythology, and even some Sanskrit.