Ranjani Murthy's debut performance in Bangalore 
September 7, 2005 

Ranjani Murthy started learning Bharatanatyam at the tender age of 4. She is a student of Bhanumati and Sheela Chandrasekhar of Nrityakala Mandiram (Bangalore) and also learns from her mother Bhavani Murthy. Ranjani has won many state level competitions and has given over 90 solo and group performances in the US. Her formal debut took place on August 7, 2005 at the J.S.S. College Auditorium, Bangalore.  

Ranjani started her performance with a Ganesha Stuthi, a composition of R Muralidharan, and followed that with a traditional Alarippu and Jathiswaram in Harikambodhi. She next presented a Varnam in bhairavi, a composition of K N Dandayudapani Pillai. Ranjani started the second half of her presentation with Ananda Natanamaduvar Thillai, a Padam by Neelakanthasivam. After Devaranama by Saint Purandaradasa, it was Mahishasura Mardhini in Abhogi, by Muthiah Bhagavathar. Ranjani concluded her recital with a  
Thillana in ragamalika, by Dandayudapani Pillai.   

The orchestra comprised of Sheela Chandrasekhar - nattuvangam; Nandakumar -vocal; Balakrishna - mridangam; Jayaram - flute; Madhusudan - violin; Chitra Lingam veena and Prasanna Kumar - effects, kanjira, morsing.   

Ranjani's performance won appreciation from many. The words of P Praveen Kumar of Chithkala School of Dance, Bangalore, sums up the evening's performance. "Doing a solo debut needs lots of patience and hard work. Her stances, abhinaya and overall impact looked more like a seasoned dancer than an artiste presenting her debut performance. It was a pleasure to watch the ease with which she was able to transit through various emotions."  

Chief guests Shridar and Anuradha Shridar of Khechara Academy of Bharatanatyam, commended Ranjani's neat technique as a rare feature in arangetrams. "Her laya was appreciable, lines were neat and picturesque stances very pleasing. We were surprised to see this quality from a budding dancer trained in the U S."  

It is important for a good and dedicated guru to have a sishya sharing the same passion for dance. How does Ranjani herself feel about her formal dance debut? "When I arrived in India, I was eager to start practicing for the big day. I practiced and had training for 2 to 2 1/2 hours every day, and with each practice I felt more enthusiastic to learn.  It was an uplifting experience that taught me the value of dedication, discipline, and hard work.  I am extremely grateful to my gurus for imparting this knowledge to me and to my parents for helping me achieve this accomplishment. My Rangapravesham is a dream come true for me."   

Ranjani is also learning Kuchipudi for the past 7 years from Sandhya Athmakumari, Michigan.