Manch Pravesh and Arangetram

The 23rd and the 24th of November will be forever etched in the memory of every member of the Mayo family for the joy these days generated and for the sense of pride one felt at the accomplishments of the students. The school proudly presented the Manch Pravesh for Odissi dance on the 23rd, and the Arangetram for Bharatnatyam on the 24th of this month.

MCGS has always believed in upholding the rich cultural traditions of India, and it was in keeping with this philosophy that the Manch Pravesh and the Arangetram were staged in school for the very first time.

On the 23rd, it was the Manch Pravesh or debut recital of four of our Odissi dancers, Aashita Galundia, Divieta Sahajwala, Soudamini Sharma and Tanisha Sharma. They are all students of the SC class. The Manch Pravesh, like the Arangetram in Bharatnatyam, marks the culmination of years of rigorous practice on the part of the student (shishya).  A dancer is permitted by her Guru to perform on stage after she has acquired the necessary skills to do so. The Manch Pravesh and the Arangetram are therefore important milestones in the lives of the dancers of these two classical dance forms.

It was a great honour and privilege for the school to have Padmashree Her Highness Rajmata Govardhan Kumari of Santrampur as the Chief Guest on both the days. A dancer par excellence herself, and one who has worked very hard to revive and preserve the authentic Rajwadi form of Ghoomar and popularise the Chari Nritya of Kishangarh, Rajmata Sahiba’s presence itself served as a great encouragement for the dancers.

The Manch Pravesh was presented under the guidance of the world-renowned exponent of the Odissi form of classical dance, Ms. Madhumita Raut. Ms. Raut is the inheritor and proponent of her illustrious father, Guru Mayadhar Raut’s dance legacy. She has taught and performed in twenty-nine countries. Her landmark book, ‘Odissi: What, When and How, History, Evolution and Technique’ has been greatly appreciated for its in-depth research. Last week she was honoured with the “Orissa Living Legend Award”.

Guru Madhumita Raut was accompanied by her talented team of musicians who specially came for this occasion from Delhi and Orissa. Vocal support was rendered by Shri Hari Narayan Dash, the mardala was played by Shri Bhagirathi Nayak, on the violin was Shri Gopinath Swain and Shri Rohit Prasanna played the flute. Guru Madhumita Raut played the manjira.

Aashita Galundia, Divieta Sahajwala, Soudamini Sharma and Tanisha Sharma studied Odissi in school under the guidance of Smt. Seema Bansal Rai. They also received training in Odissi abhinaya under Guru Madhumita Raut. As an initiative taken by MCGS, they were also blessed to study Odissi in New Delhi under Padmashree Guru Mayadhar Raut, the doyen of Odissi dance and a living legend. Dedicated and hard-working, they have completed their Diploma course in Odissi dance. Their diplomas have been given by the Jayantika School of Guru Mayadhar Raut.

Smt. Seema Bansal Rai, a disciple of Guru Dibakar Khuntia and Guru Mayadhar Raut, joined school in 1994. She holds a Diploma in Odissi dance and has a number of Odissi recitals to her credit including a solo recital at Triveni in New Delhi under the aegis of the International Odissi Guild, the United States of America. She has been greatly instrumental in nurturing the talent of our girls.

The dance items presented at the Manch Pravesh were Mangalacharan, Batu Nritta, Basant Pallavi, Abhinaya – Bhongi Chahan, Moksha and Guru Mantra.

The girls enthralled the audience with their graceful rendering of the various items.

On the 24th, once again, we were treated to a visual feast of excellent dance when the Arangetram of Tarini Seth (SC), Ishrita Khaitan (X), Mahima Khemka (X) and Anandita Sinh (VIII) took place. Gently guided and trained by their Gurus Padmashree Guru Dr. Smt. Saroja Vaidyanathan and Guru Shipra Goyal, the girls put up a grand show.

Padmashree Dr. Smt. Saroja Vaidyanathan is a rare combination of an accomplished dancer, choreographer, author and institution builder. She is the founder of the Ganesh Natyalaya , a reputed  centre for training in classical dance and music in Delhi. She has been trained on the lines of Thanjavur Bhani under Guru Smt. Lalitha of Saraswati Gana Nilayam, Chennai. She has also received training in Carnatic music under Professor P.Sambamoorty at the Madras University. An internationally acclaimed classical dancer, widely travelled and the author of books like “The Science of Bharatnatyam”, “Bharatnatyam – An in-depth Study”, “Carnatic Sangeetam” and “The Classical Dances of India”, she is the proud recipient of many prestigious awards like the Padmashree from the Government of India, the Sahitya Kala Parishad Award from the Delhi Government, the Paul Harris Fellow Award, the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, the Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamil Nadu amongst others.

Kalashree Smt. Shipra Goyal is a versatile dancer having received training in Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Folk and Western dance. A dancer and choreographer, her first stage performance was at the tender age of five. Since then she has given several performances in Kathak and Folk dance at the Diocese of Agra, Vrindavan Bal Vikas Manch and the National Children’s Science Congress, Agra. She received her training in Folk and Western Dance from Purshottam Mayura. The Lalit Kala Sansthan, Agra, nurtured her love for Kathak. A disciple of Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan, she has had the opportunity to perform along with her in the Tamil Kala Sangam, New Delhi. She performed her Arangetram in the year 2008.

The musicians for the Arangetram were Shri V.S.K. Chakrapani on the violin and Shri Surya Narayanan on the mridangam. Smt. Laxmi provided the vocal support.   

The girls performed Pushpanjali, Alarippu, Jatiswaram, Varnam, Padam, Tillana and concluded the evening’s performance with Mangalam.

The dancers were presented certificates and shields by the Ganesh Natyalaya.

We laud the efforts of our dancers who put in unstinting effort in the pursuit of their dream to excel in dance. They have set high standards for future generations of Mayoites to emulate and better. They have undoubtedly done themselves and the school proud. We would like to express our heart-felt thanks to the parents of the dancers who constantly supported and encouraged their children.

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This School provides a unique opportunity for all round education. It has the security of the rich Mayo tradition and an ethos conducive to developing each child's potential to the fulles