Bharatnatyam is an Indian Classical dance form that comes from Tamil Nadu and was performed in temples in ancient times. Bharatnatyam includes intensive dance practice, with energetic and graceful moves.
When I was in third grade, I began my practice of this art form. Visharad takes seven years to accomplish, and it is regarded as a graduation degree in Bharatnatyam. We learned the basic steps needed in actual dances in the first and second year, and then dances began in the third year, which included dancing on Tamil, Telugu, and Sanskrit songs. The dance practice used to begin only after receiving the blessings of Mother Earth, Lord Nataraj, and Guru. Before beginning any activity, it is critical to obtain everyone's blessings.
We learned a variety of dances, including Allaripu, Jattiswaram, Varnam, and others, as well as Mudras and their meanings. Not only did we have practicals, but we also had theory, which encompassed essential dance concepts. I enhanced my Bharatnatyam performance over time with practice, and I also had a two-year gap owing to my education. It was challenging for me to balance both of these things as I progressed through the higher grades. Bharatnatyam also allowed me to forget about my concerns for a moment and cleanse my mind and soul. It also aided my extra-curricular performance at school.
The pandemic was still going on, so my teacher came up with the idea of gathering all of us who were still left for the Visharad (7th year) exam and taking the advantage of lockdown, we began practicing online, then offline. In Visharad, we had to practice all of the dances from the previous six years, as well as all of the theories, plus dance and theory from the seventh year.
Surat hosted the practical exam, while Ahmedabad hosted the theory exam. It was my first time at college, and we were only there for six days. After those six days, I had my theory exam the next day. During my college spare time, I studied my theoretical section and then went to the exam with my parents after college. There were two papers of three hours and it was tiring to write huge answers. Both the exams went well and now we had to wait for results.
I was overjoyed to pass my Visharad exam, which would not have been possible without the help of my Guru, Neha ma'am. I've had her support from the beginning to the end. She taught us not only dance but also other life lessons that enriched our personalities. Hearing her life stories was always fascinating. She never failed to inspire me.
I can't thank my parents enough to introduce me to classical dancing and support me till the end. The experience of studying this dance form was incredible, from my parents dropping me off and picking me up on weekends to me going to classes independently, from the year 2011 to the year 2021, from learning basic moves to learning various theme-based dances, the whole experience is unforgettable and splendid.