We recently photographed another Arangetram featuring 14 year old Nikita. An Arangetram is a debut performance of the classical Indian dance Bharatnatyam which dates back as far as 3000 years. And what an amazing accomplishment for Nikita, especially because she had only trained with her guru for 2 years, whereas it normally takes 7 years, and the majority of her lessons were conducted long distance via Skype.
With a live band and singer, Nikita performed 8 detailed, high-energy dances over the course of 2 hours, wearing temple jewelry, dramatic makeup, and intricately stitched outfits. Each movement in her dance correlates to a story she tells, similar to how movements tell a story in traditional hula dances. Bharatnatyam is fast-paced, with large, full body expressions, also encompassing detailed facial expressions and emotions. This was a huge accomplishment for Nikita to have completed her Arangetram at such a young age, as well as with the challenges of learning via Skype.