Every Thursday evening for 10 years, Poojitha Pramod, 15, took a lesson in Bharatanatyam.

She learned to master the nuances such as facial expressions (bhavabhinya), hand gestures (mudras) and detailed movements (nritta) of the Indian classical dance for her arangetram (debut).

Poojitha Pramod's arangetram, a Tamil word that means ‘ascending the stage', last Friday at the Indian Consulate Auditorium in Dubai did her mentor and guru Annapurna Murali proud.

A talented student with the promise of becoming an accomplished artiste, Poojitha dazzled the audience with various items with ease and charm in her solo attempt for more than two hours.


Striking sculptural poses mixed with subtle eye and neck movements, delicate hand gestures and nimble footwork, she worked her way across the stage portraying such diverse characters as a mischievous Krishna teasing Gopikas and stealing butter from his mother's churning pot, and Kodandarama, Ganapati and Nataraja from the Hindu pantheon.

That she had a grasp of what she had learned over a decade was evident in her confident explanation of the dance sequences before presenting each item.

Poojitha's guru Annapurna Murali, who choreographed the repertoire for the arangetram, also handled the nattuvangam (rhythmic cymbal) and she was ably supported in vocal recital by Durga Venkatesh, on the mridangam (percussion) by Krishnarajan, violin by G.K. Venkateswaran and flute by Gopal.

Festive look

The costumes were stunningly beautiful and the make-up was adequate to accentuate the expressions. The stage wore a festive look with a golden prabha (ceremonial arch) against a backdrop of jasmine garlands whose fragrance permeated the auditorium.