Danseuse sisters fly down from New Jersey for ‘Arangettam’ in Udaipur
So at a young age, both of them were made to attend Bharatanatyam classes and now after 7 years of training, the dancer sisters chose Udaipur for their ‘Arangettam’ i.e. debut stage performance which was scheduled for Sunday at a star hotel here.
They were born and brought up at New Jersey hence mingled up in the US culture. But parents were very keen that daughters Shreen and Siddhi should be well versed in Hindi, classical music and dance. So at a young age, both of them were made to attend Bharatanatyam classes and now after 7 years of training, the dancer sisters chose Udaipur for their ‘Arangettam’ i.e. debut stage performance which was scheduled for Sunday at a star hotel here.
Their dance Guru Madhavi Mehta accompanied them along with their family and relatives all the way from New Jersey to Udaipur for the big day. The orchestra team came in from Mumbai for the three hour performance which had Pushpanjali, Alarippu, Jathiswaram, Vernam, Bhajan, Shlokam and Tillana which is the final item of the Bharatanatyam margam.
For the parents, dance and music had been a way to keep their daughters rooted with the Indian tradition in an alien land.“ Initially both as kids were reluctant and agreed to take lessons only because we wanted them to do so, but as they grew up they gradually realized that dance brought in them grace, expressions and rhythm which are the basics of life” said Shilpa and Ashok Bhansali, the proud parents.
Udaipur being their ‘Nanihaal’ is the favorite place in the world for the twosome who are pampered to the greatest extent by grandparents and extended family here. They keep coming here twice or thrice a year for family reunions. “ There was lot of excitement and a bit nervousness as we were doing this first time officially before a large audience” said the chirpy teens who have been practicing of this function for past 5 months now.
They have been devoting three hours each in the morning and evening for dance practices. Shreen is a senior (12 std) at Monroe Township High School while Siddhi is now a junior there. “ Along with dance I enjoy singing classical Hindustani music. Dance is a stress reliever for me and it has taught me dedication” said Shreen who wish to take up a career in graphic design.
“But after a certain stage, I would like to come back to India and take up social work” Shreen said who wish to work for the cause of education, women empowerment and sanitation which she feels is a grave problem in India. On the other hand, younger sister Siddhi is a gifted artist and hence more confident in the visual arts field. “ I want to become an artist and want to join Cooper Union, the most coveted and difficult universities to get admission ” Siddhi said. She is also presently writing a book on her experiences of life.
Contributed by: Geetha Sunil Pillai