Debut performance by Suhani Dhanki

March 7, 2012

Suhani Dhanki, disciple of Dr. Sandhya Purecha, one of the foremost exponents of Thanjavur style, presented her debut Bharatanatyam performance at the Yashwantrao Chavan Centre in Mumbai on February 26, 2012. The event was blessed with the presence of spiritual guru Bhatkhande Tai and graced by maestros of different dance forms, renowned Manipuri exponent Darshana Jhaveri, revered Kathak exponent Dr. Padma Sharma, Bharatanatyam guru Deepak Mazumdar and Dilip Shinde from the Department of Culture and Tourism.

One of the most awaited moments in a Bharatanatyam dancer’s career, the arangetram is performed after several years of arduous training, when the guru is confident that the disciple is ready for a solo performance. Suhani Dhanki, a 3rd year Law student from Mumbai, has an unflinching passion for dance, so she pursued BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) at Bharata College of Fine Arts and Culture. After training under Sandhya Purecha for eight years, Suhani’s joy knew no bounds as she gave her first solo performance.

Suhani started her recital with the solemn Ganesha Stuti and Pushpanjali, finishing deftly with a flawless thillana in Paras. The centre piece, varnam in Attana raga, was worthy of praise as she conserved energy and stance till the moment of her exit, captivating the audience with her abhinaya. The program lasted for more than three hours and Suhani danced energetically through the short pieces based on a variety of ragas that offered her opportunities to showcase a variety of moods and expressions with ease combined with graceful movements. The choice of items performed was in the guru - shishya parampara, the one handed over to Purecha by her guru and included shabdam (Sarasi Jakshulu), padams (Yen Palli, Kalaituki, Taye Yashoda and Kavadi aadi vanthal) and Madhurashtakam.

“Every piece that we chose is a very traditional one with no modifications in any of the combination of steps, just as I had learnt it when it was handed over to me by my Guru Acharya Parvati Kumar.  Of course, we brought in some innovation by adding the Mahavir Kavtuvam as she is a Jain devotee and a padam Kavadi aadi vanthal,” said Purecha.

The accompanying artistes were: nattuvangam - Sandhya V Purecha, vocal - Sivaprasad and  Shanmukha Sundaram, mridangam - Satish Krishnamoorthy, violin - SR Ramachandra Sharma, flute - Ragavendra Baliga, ghatam - Sujesh Menon, morsing - KN Gopalan. Sandhya Purecha teaches in a logical and immaculate manner through the extensive study of theory and practice and her disciple did her proud that morning.