This is the debut performance in the Indian Classical style of bharatanatyam that announces the arrival of the dancer on the stage, achieving profession standards, after years of training. This historic occasion was made possible by the desire and passion of final-year Bachelor of Dance (Performance) major, Ng Xinying, a dancer who was born in Johore Baru. Having begun her training in this form 5 years ago, Ng Xinying is one of the finest symbols of the success of the Faculty of Dance to bridge borders through its multicultural syllabus of dance. She is quite possibly the best dancer that Malaysia has ever seen with technical ability, quality and expression in several genres of dance. Her teachers believe that Ng Xinying has been given the rare gift of dance that only a select few have and very rarely seen. In this performance, she will present herself as a bharatanatyam dancer. This shining light of inter-racial understanding is now the benchmark for excellence in dance through the Faculty of Dance, ASWARA. The Arangetram will be held as follows:
9 March; Experimental Theatre ASWARA; 8.30 p.m. (the show will be 2.5 hours with an interval) Invitations only via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ng Xinying, is a 23-year old in her final year Bachelor of Dance with Honours (Performance) program at ASWARA majoring in contemporary dance after completing her Diploma in Dance where she won the ‘Best Dance Graduate 2010’. Aside from performing, Xinying has also choreographed a few works such as Beginning, One, and Regret that have been staged at various productions. Since enrolling at ASWARA, she has performed extensively both locally and abroad in traditional Malay, Chinese, Indian and contemporary dance repertoire. Among the more notable productions include Vincent Tan’s The Mouse Bride for Batu Dance Theater, Jamu, Gelombang Baru, Tapestry and others. Some of her international collaborations include working with Japanese choreographer Ikuyo Kuroda in We’re Gonna Go Dancing, German choreographer Riki Von Falken in Echo II, The White Bat by Jie Choong Wan Chin with Ena Ballet Studio Japan, a ballet presentation by Danceworks Production at the Istana Budaya. In 2010, she won the Best Female Dancer in the Short & Sweet Festival by Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. Her international credits with ASWARA include Dains Festival at Esplanade and Maya Dance Theatre's Legend: The Journey Begins, International Dance Xchange in Philippines, Malaysia Week: Faces of 1Malaysia in Washington D.C. for Istana Budaya and Dance Teens in Hong Kong. She performed Cicak and Jin Zhu Long at the No Ballet Competition held in Ludwigshafen, Germany. She played the lead character in a dance film production by Sherman Ong entitled I want to Remember which premiered at the Singapore Arts Festival in 2011. She is a senior apprentice with the professional company ASWARA Dance Company and danced in all the major productions including the Contact Festival in Singapore, 3 Faces, Connecting Communities – National Dance Tour and Ekspresi Gemilang Tour of 3 cities in Indonesia, sponsored by Sime Darby Foundation, KLCC Arts Festival 2011, Woman on Top supported by kakiseni.com, JB Arts Festival and others
Pushpanjali Raagam: Naatai Taalam: Adhi
In the traditional temple ritual, vedic incantations or mantras are recited whilst offering flowers to the almighty for the welfare of humanity. The traditional dance repertoire or margam also commences with a flower offering: ‘pusha- anjali’ or pushpaanjali. Tonight, the dancer opens with such an item keeping in rhythm to the internal meter of the vedas known as chandas. This is followed by the customary Bhoomi Pranam or salutations to Mother Earth for forgiveness and blessings.
Alarippu Raagam: Mohanam Taalam: Kandam
This item is the limbering sequence of a Bharathanatyam recital. It features the flowering process with the progressive limbering of the face and limbs, from the fingers, wrists and shoulder blades to the torso and lower limbs. The metaphor of alarippu is the grand offering of one’s entire body and mind to the Almighty just as a flower is placed at the Lord’s feet.
Jathiswaram Raagam: Bahudhari Taalam: Aadhi
The enchanting exposition of melodic and visual lines is the essence of the jathiswaram which is the combination of jathis and swaras. Pure dance sequences, expressing the joy of movement, rhythm and harmony evoke a sense of aesthetic appreciation and clearly define the significant characteristics of Bharatanatyam. This sensibility reflects the architectural precision, the art which has deeply influenced many aspects of life in India.
Varnam: Sakhiye Intha Jalam Raagam: Shankarabharanam Taalam: Aadhi
The sentiment of this Varnam is that of Madhurya bhakthi where God is the beloved and the devotee is the lover. Between the two is the spiritual preceptor or Guru who plays the role of the sakhi or confidante who knows the intimate romance between the soul and the Divine and brings about their union.
Here, the nayikaa pleads with her sakhi and showers her with gifts of her own ornaments. This is symbolic of the devotee surrendering body, mind and wealth to the Guru in ardent devotion.
For the most part of the Varnam, the nayikaa is a Virahotkhandita Nayika, a maiden pinning for her lover. She says, “Even if the whole world around me were to crumble, I will never forget Him. That He will grace me. I am assured.”
She then describes the ten avatars or incarnations of Vishnu which He assumed to save the world from dissolution
Paadam: Theruvil Varano Raagam: Khamas Taalam: Roopakam
“That’s the sound of the Lord’s procession setting out from the Temple. Will my street be on his route? Will he turn to cast me a glance?”
“He who burnt Manmatha and the three worlds with his scorching glance - Will He not halt in front of my door and whisper love’s sweet nothings? Will I not win Cupid’s love shafts?”
“He is the Lord of space infinite in Chitambaram, the inner space of consciousness. In my love’s longing, time does not pass easily. Is there no one who will carry my message to Him?”
Paadam: Thaye Yashoda Raagam: Thodi Taalam: Adhi
This is a popular padam where the dancer assumes the role of a gopi or milkmaid who complains to Mother Yashoda about Krishna. She says,
“O Mother Yashoda, your Bala Krishna who was born in and praised by the cowherd commune is full of mischief. Listen O Lady to what He did. He arrived at the threshold of the street dancing with anklets and bangles jingling and with pearl necklace swaying. The Gods from the heavens rejoiced and the humans praised Him. So cute was this little boy that I leaped to kiss Him and He kissed me on the lips like a married man! How embarrassed I was with everyone seeing me.”
Thillana Raagam: Hindolam Taalam: Kanda Jathi Eka Taalam
This is the culmination of the repertoire as the dancer bursts forth onto stage with pure dance and pure joy. It consists of variegated patterns woven together with scintillating and intricate movements. it concludes with a verse in praise of Godesses Kaamakshi and celebrates the fulfillment of the blossoming dancer’s journey.
Nattuvangam: Shri Shankar Kandasamy
Vocal: Shri Nandakumar Unnikrishnan
Mridangam: Shri Darmen Krisnan
Violin: Shrimathi Kanagamani Vijayendra
Flute: Shri.G Sridhar Gopala Raman