Yesterday we attend the Bharatanatyam Arangetram of one of Rik's students. A truly over-achieving kid, she spent the last year improving her skills at classical Indian dance in order to give a recital for her Arangetram, to celebrate coming of age as a young Indian woman. Wikipedia call an Arangetram "the debut on-stage performance of a classical art student, after undertaking years of training. It is a graduation performance for any art form."
M is a remarkable dancer, having spent 15 years studying various Western forms and three years studying classical Indian dance. I was amazed at her grace, skill and stamina as she danced for three hours in a solo performance, accompanied by live music from a traditional drummer and flutist, her cousin the singer, and her guru/dance teacher. Her mother told us that M practiced six hours a day for the past months, and needed acupuncture weekly in order to keep dancing at that pace. One of her solo pieces was 35 minutes long!
M's family invited her family, friends and teachers to enjoy the Arangetram and stay for a delicious vegetarian Indian dinner after the recital. M is evidently extremely bright and dedicated to her many passions. M's fifth-grade teacher teacher said to the hundreds of people present that M is happiest when she is learning something challenging.
To protect M's privacy, I won't post any photos, but please search Arangetram to see colorful images of classical Indian dance costumes.
The whole recital was a reminded us of attending the bar or bat mitzvah of a brilliant young person who can lead the whole service in Hebrew and chant both the Torah portion and the Haftorah. Rik and I were honored to be included in his student's latest triumph!