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Meet Sridatri, Delhi’s youngest Bharatanatyam dancer to perform arangetram at 13

Class VII student Sridatri Bhattacharya, who will perform arangetram at Sri Sathya Sai Auditorium on April 28, is a disciple of the Padma Vibhushan awardee Bharatanatyam exponent Yamini Krishnamurthy.

art and culture Updated: Apr 26, 2018 18:24 IST
Nabanita Das
Nabanita Das
Hindustan Times
Yamini Krishnamurthy,Bharatnatyam,Padma Vibhushan
Sridatri is going to perform seven items at her arangetram.

While most children of her age romp around with friends, sulk over too much homework, and spend more time on gadgets than their parents might like, Sridatri Bhattacharya is a 13-year-old with a difference. Still in school — she is a class VII student — Sridatri is the first Delhiite to get her arangetram in Bharatanatyam at the age of 13. This feat, generally achieved by classical dancers at the age of 18, has been attained way earlier by this young disciple of Padma Vibhushan Yamini Krishnamurthy.

Catch it live
  • What: Bharatnatyam Arangetram
  • Where: Sri Sathya Sai International Centre, Pragati Vihar, Lodhi Road
  • When: April 28, 6.30pm
  • Nearest Metro Station: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on the Violet Line

Traditionally, arangetram is the ascent to the stage by a performer, with the guru’s permission. This indicates that the dancer’s training is complete and she is now able to impart her skills to others.

Wouldn’t that be a daunting prospect for a 13-year-old? Not for Sridatri. The confidence of this young dancer, whose first performance is at Sri Sathya Sai Auditorium on April 28, is incredible. “There are about seven items that I’m going to perform,” she tells us. “It will include Alarippu (an invocation piece dedicated to God); Jathiswaram (a dance recital devoid of any abhinaya or emotions), based on basic steps and mudras; Varnam (dedicated to the gods, this is the most important part of a Bharatanatyam recital, a combination of nritta, nrityal, and natya), and other pieces. I’m excited and a bit tense, also, because I have to perform solo, without a break, for about two hours.”

Padma Vibhushan awardee Bharatanatyam exponent Yamini Krishnamurthy is Sridatri’s guru.

Yamini Krishnamurthy, one of the doyens of Indian classical dance and Sridatri’s guru, is optimistic about the young girl’s calibre as a dancer. When asked about her decision to confer arangetram on her at such an early age, she says, “Sridatri is a bright child. She is passionate about dance and picks up steps very quickly. She is capable and that is why I have decided to bring her on the stage.”

Sridatri’s passion for the art form is clear — without a second thought, she picks dance over everything else. “When I’m sad, tired, stressed or even angry, I start dancing. It lifts my mood instantly and makes me happy,” she says.

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First Published: Apr 26, 2018 18:24 IST