The second anniversary of `Nartana,' an academy of arts in Tiruchi city, was marked by a brilliant `Salangai puja' by a group of seven girls. They are school students and could have spared only few hours for dance practice. But their performance was highly professional. A. Swetha, S. Swathi, T. Devi Bhagya, R. Jaya Rukmani, K. Priyanka, A. Rehana and Swetha Murali performed the `Salangai puja' much to the delight of the audience at the sprawling Thevar Hall.
The programme commenced with an invocation and the `Salangai puja' was marked by the traditional `Pushpanajali' (in Nattai), `Misra Alarippu' and `Natesa Kavuthuvam' (in Hamsadwani). The ritual was followed by a performance on `Thodaiyamangalam' ("Jaya Janaki Ramana'' in ragamalika) and the jathiswaram (Mogana raga). All the students of the Nartana presented a different `padam,' in perfection. There was more surprise in store for the audience when a group of little girls rendered an impressive performance, without `Salangai.'
Songs like `Theerada Vilaiyattu Pillai' (ragamalika), "Meenakshi Thayae'' (Abhogi) really made the gathering spellbound all through for half an hour. The students were accompanied by Sangeetha, correspondent and teacher of Nartana (nattuvangam and vocal); Cecily Gomathy (vocal); Vadivelu (mridangam); Arun Karthick (violin) and Devaraj (flute).
Mukundan, Director of the Salangai Academy of Indian Classical Arts and Vijaya Mukundan, its principal, in their felicitations, appreciated the efforts taken by the Nartana in imparting professional skills to the students at a tender age. S. A. Chandrasekaran, co-ordinator, Nartana, said that early opportunities would only help the girls develop their talent without any stage fear.
Fr. S. Dhanapragasam, founder and president, Depressed People's Welfare Association, honoured the girls with a memento each. Schools should include fine arts in their co-curricular activities.
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