FOR HER RECORD OF 250 ARANGETRAMS (DANCE DEBUTS) CONDUCTED OVER 40 YEARS!
By Ashok Subramaniam
Indians who migrated to the Bay Area have slowly rooted themselves here during the past 50 years, and are excelling in their respective fields of expertise like Science, Information Technology, etc. It is an undeniable fact that these immigrants have played a vital role in the growth of the American Economy
In general, immigrants usually bring their cultural roots along with them and ensure that it flourishes in the form of religion, music, dance, festivals, and so on. This unites and binds them, helping then grow into a strong community.
Today’s flourishing community is the result of the hard work of our ancestors/immigrants who slaved relentlessly in order to give an opportunity to this generation to learn, follow, and take pride in our rich culture and varied heritage.
The forerunner of such ancestors, is the esteemed dancer and the most respected, Guru Shri Vishal Ramani! The prestigious dance school she started in 1977 has been growing for 41 years, and continues to teach hundreds of students our ancient art of Bharatnatyam.
This year, on July 21, she has crossed a crucial milestone. She has made a record of 250 arangetrams or dance debuts in the last 41 years. The first premiere took place in 1983, the 100th premiere in 2008.
As a teacher/guru, this record is not even known in India. A singer can sing up to 1000 concerts in his lifetime, a dancer can do more than 500 performances too. But as a teacher, training 250 students is phenomenal, as it requires the highest level of commitment and hard work.
And unlike most teachers who stick to a regimen of old methodology, without stepping out of the boundaries of their Guruparampara, Shri Vishal Ramani teaches hand-picked, unique items, in all Dravidian languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Bhojpuri and other languages as well. Her students range from various provinces of India; Kashmir, Punjab, Bangladesh, Assam, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and South India.
Each Arangetram is a specially tailored event, equally stressful to the parents, administrators and the organizers as well. As for Shri Vishal Ramani, each one is a challenge in every way. Every year she conducts not arangetrams but a yajna! It’s a dance yajnam, an arangetram marathon! The training starts about two years in advance. This training is not just a journey towards arangetram but each student gains faith, confidence, clarity, a thirst for aesthetics, style, and the art of engaging as well as mesmerizing the audience.
The true purpose of learning any art is to develop deep focus, concentration, high energy, and self expression! These are the essential elements to a successful life which is what Shri Vishal Ramani’s special training encompasses. She is truly the queen of choreography! She creates magic with her unique teaching strategies and awesome choreography.
Shrikrupa students not only become skillful dancers but also shine in every aspect of their life, ready to take on the world. They come out assertive, disciplined, compassionate, and empowered human beings.
Moreover, Shri Vishal has created this entire social circle of arangetram parents! The Arangetram teams coordinate and work together like one big family year after year! They become great friends and now the network has snowballed into one amazing ShriKrupa community. They work seamlessly with unparalleled excellence like a well oiled machine.
Srikrupa student Bhavya Venkataragavan, had the honor and privilege of being the 250th arangetram student. To celebrate this milestone, Mayor of Cuperinto, "Darsi Paul", member of the Saratoga City Council Rishikumar, and Mrs. Alazhu Vairavan from Alagappa University, were the special guests who honored Shri Vishal Ramani and presented her with the plaque.
Ashok Subramaniam, music director, composer, singer, head of Shrikrupa, during his speech, called attention to Shri Vishal’s involvement, dedication, exacting yet kind, and being the pioneer for many things pertaining to dance productions. For example, she was the first one to fly professional musicians from India for the arangetram season, raising the standards and expectations of an arangetram performance, and elevating her students to a professional level. Nowadays this has become typical.
Thank you note was given on behalf of all parents. Mrs. Madhuri and Mr. Raja Ranganathan oversaw the organizing of the entire program.
This achievement of Mrs Vishal Ramani is the achievement of all Indian descendents! Let's congratulate her for overcoming these tremendous miles and wish her many more happy miles of dancing!
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