JWALA REJIMON ARANGETRAM:
AN AMAZING PERFORMANCE, A SPIRITUAL PILGRIMAGE
Zionsville Performing Arts Center, Zionsville, Indiana USA
Los Angeles, Aug. 26, 2015
By Kanwal Prakash Singh
Press Release by NRIpress-Club/CA-Ramesh
A Prayerful Reflection:
The entrance to the Zionville Performing Arts Center had been transformed. There were statues of Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva as Nataraja; floral decorations, beautiful Rangoli creations, lighted brass lamps, enlargements of Kumari Jwala Priyadarshini Rejimon, the star of the evening, hundreds of guests in traditional South Indian Saris, Punjabi dresses, Kurta Pyjamas, and silken brocaded Achkans. There was an unmistakable festive spirit of a special occasion. The proud parents Rejimon Varghese and Rani Rejimon were on hand to greet the special guests, family and friends.
Many had travelled all the way from India and other states to be a part of this auspicious landmark moment for Jwala and her family.
AN INVOCATION AND VENERATION OF DEITIES IN DANCE AND DEVOTION
Jwala’s Arangetram included diverse traditional dance performances, each more beautiful than the last over a period of over 2 hours, beginning with Pushpanjali and ending with Mangalam. In between were: Shlokam, Ganesha Vandana- Shri Mahaganapathi Ravathumam, Allarippu, Jathiswaram, Shabadham-Thillai Ambalam, Varnam-Skhiye, Devarnama-Gummana Karayadhirai, Padam-Arputhashilpiadi Ponnama, Kirthi-Broche Va, and Tillana in a range of ragas, talas, and rhythms.
EXUDING JOY OF HER SOUL ON HER FACE AND DANCE
As I reflected, during and since, on the beautiful performance by Kumari Jwala Priyadarshini Rejimon at her Arangetram and its impact on my mind and spirit, I saw classical dance, accompanied by exalted music in ancient Ragas, Talas, Rhythms, and incredible Vocals, as a form of spiritual devotion, as joyful expressions of the human spirit, as an emancipating art and spiritual energy, as a creative and exuberant blessing in temporal and celestial celebrations. Jwala is a performer with a thousand expressions, each more expressive and illuminating than the last one, incredible story teller with dance, music, movement and revelation of a joyful spirit. I am still in awe that one 16 year old person has a vocabulary of thousand steps, can recreate ten thousand images with her eyes, torso, hands and feet, facial expressions that faithfully respond to every beat of Mirdangam, note of Flute, Voice and Vocals by the masters of their musical instruments and amazing God-given talents. Jwala exuded the joy of her soul on her face, in her movement, in her poses and compositions. Vibrations of the sounds of the vocalist were amazing in nature, form, and variations – creating spiritual sketches across the canvas of spirit of the audience. I was speechless in awe and moved by the beauty and blessing to be a witness. Sikh scriptures remind us about cosmic Naad: celestial music and heaven and earth as places of wonder, beauty, God’s playful manifestation. My spirit traveled to the Sikh Rehraas - Raag Sodar about “…countless accomplished musicians playing amazing musical instruments in Praise in Your Court…” and remembered that it is possible to achieve salvation amidst “…laughter and play, beautiful clothes and delicious fare,” for, they are God’s blessing to enjoy and enrich life. I saw that image and experience manifested before me.
HONORED GUESTS, AMAZING MUSICIANS, DEDICATED PARENTS
- CHIEF GUEST: Sri. V.V. Sundram - Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival
- CHIEF GUEST OF HONOR: Shm. Hema Rajagopalan - Artistic Director, Natya Dance Theatre
- GUEST OF HONOR: Shri K.P. Singh - Artist, author & public speaker –KP Singh Designs
- GURU: Smt. Mangala Anand – A celebrated, award winning, dance teacher and mentor. She is in the tradition of venerable legendary masters.
Nattuvangam: Smt. Mangala Anand - Venerable dance teacher and respected Guru
Vocal: Smt. Arthi Kumar - rich, melodic, soulful and divinely layered
Mridangam: Sri G. Ganeshan - a beautiful drum beat that guides the dance steps
Flute: Sri C.K. Patanjali - a magnificent master of the flute that translate words into music
Violin: Sri. C.K. Vijayaraghavan - master of the classical ancient stringed instrument
MC: Smt. Aparna Satheesan - Superb, knowledgeable, accomplished dancer and teacher
PARENTS: REJIMON VARGHESE AND RANI REJIMON
What can one say about the parents: They exude kindness, humility, generosity of spirit, a boundless love and pride in their children, ancient culture, and for their family of friends and community. My family and I were deeply moved by the honor and to be asked to be a part of such a momentous and memorable evening.
Rejimon and Rani, during the short break, honored the special guests, musicians, dance and music teachers with traditional precious and symbolic gifts. The Chief Guest and Honored Guests were invited to offer greetings and blessings to Jwala and her family on the special occasion, offer brief remarks about the exquisite dance performance to the accompaniment of beautiful live music and amazing vocals, the tradition and intricacies, and future of Bhartanatyam Dance. At the end of the dance, the entire gathering enjoyed a South Indian feast prepared by several area restaurants.
DIVINE HAND AND SPIRIT GUIDING THE PERFORMANCE
In my remarks, I expressed the joy of being there and how the evening evoked in me feelings as if I have been a witness to this experience thousands of years ago. I continued:
“Kumari Jwala’s Arangetram was amazing and breathtaking. The musician were incredible and fabulous!! The MC was great. We thought that we were sitting in a higher Court and witnessing the veneration of deities. The venerable dance and music teachers saw Jwala give a performance that left them and the audience in awe and speechless. We rejoiced in the feeling that we were witnessing a young talent rise to stardom beyond her years, before our eyes. We felt as if a divine hand and blessing were around Jwala, and her spirit rose to greet them, make them proud that the gifts that God entrusted to Jwala are being multiplied many folds by tireless devotion to her true passion in life and as a providential assignment…Congratulations to Kumari Jwala, her beautiful parents, family and friends, venerable teachers and fabulous musicians, and all who made this momentous Arangetram possible. Thank you for inviting me as one of your honored guests and for presenting me with precious expressions of loving tradition. I am deeply touched by the great honor, the generosity of spirit, and Jwala’s personal sacrifice and devotion to the timeless sacred arts and culture of India and their preservation in Indiana. Congratulations to Jwala and her family.” - KP Singh.
I look forward to enjoying the memories of this performance and learning so much from it about devotion and commitment, talent and grace, tireless striving toward perfection and allowing the divine presence guide our spirit and energy; venerable teachers, fabulous and celebrated musicians, and the awesome beauty of an ancient art; about parental love and sacrifice to nurture the best in children. It was an honor and privilege to witness cherished traditions, excellence in devotion and veneration, learning of timeless arts coming together so beautifully and seamlessly in Kumari Jwala Priyadarshini at her Arangetram. I was happy to learn that Jwala and her family have been supporting several not-for-profit organizations and educational programs.
A NEW PLACE, TIME, AND FUTURE
The classical Bhartanatyam is timeless and eternally beautiful; the classical fusion connects the timeless beauty of classical with an amazing new world of music and dance. It is like being in a treasury of precious metals, diamonds, and limitless imagination and discovering dazzling new ways and dimensions of creative expressions and ornamentation. The music greats - the late Pandit Ravi Shankar and his tremendously gifted daughter Anoushka Shankar, and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons are exploring and discovering amazing collaborations of their music by working with greats of other world music traditions. Our gifted dancers have the opportunity to enter into this daring new world of possibilities. The results can be spectacular when the classical dance traditions meet emerging and respectable fusion creative world.
Indianapolis, Indiana USA <> www. KPSinghDesigns.com <> August 20, 2015