Bharatanatyam Students Shine at Anklet Blessing Ceremony

By Anne Das

The Uma Baratha Nrithyam Dance Academy recently celebrated a significant milestone for thirteen Bharatanatyam students with a grand Anklet Blessing Ceremony (Salangai Poojai) at the RTM Auditorium, Ipoh. The event was a resounding success, drawing nearly 600 attendees, including family members, friends, and distinguished guests.

Mr. Lawrence Palanisamy, Councillor for Buntong, presenting a miniature Indian Classical Instrument souvenir to Mr. James Pany

The event was graced by Mr. Lawrence Palanisamy, Councillor for Buntong, Pengerusi Hal Ehwal Bukan Islam, who represented the Mayor of Ipoh, and Professor Dr. Jayabalan.

The Anklet Blessing Ceremony, traditionally known as “Salangai Poojai” in Bharatanatyam, marks the first time that students receive their Salangai (anklet bells) from their guru and perform on stage. This auspicious event symbolises their readiness to deepen their commitment to the art form and showcases their understanding of the basic principles of Bharatanatyam.

Students with certificates and Guru Srimathi Uma Thevi Sivabalan, an expert in Indian Classical Music and ancient Sanskrit.

The ceremony featured thirteen students who completed their formal study of Bharatanatyam after two to three years of rigorous training. The students received their certificates from their esteemed Guru Srimathi Uma Thevi Sivabalan, who possesses profound knowledge in Indian Classical Music and the ancient Sanskrit language.

One of the highlights of the evening was the performance by Abigail Aishwarya Pany, a student from Jakarta, Indonesia, who is the first Indonesian to graduate from the Anklet Blessing Ceremony at the academy. She began learning Bharatanatyam at the age of seven and expressed her desire to bring the dance form to Jakarta and perform for the President of Indonesia.

Captivating Bharatanatyam performance

The students performed a total of twelve mesmerising dance pieces, captivating the audience with their grace and dedication, accompanied by a live orchestra. The orchestra featured a vocalist and instrumentalists playing the violin, flute, and drum, creating an enchanting musical backdrop for the dancers.

Attendees praised the students’ dedication and performance, highlighting the early age at which many of them began their training. GreenAcres Retirement Village residents extended their heartfelt thanks for the engaging and educational performance, appreciating the symbolic representation and storytelling conveyed through the dance.

Proud mothers of the Bharatanatyam students celebrate alongside teachers from Uma Baratha Nrithyam Dance Academy

Guru Shrimathi Uma Thevi Sivabalan, who trained under the renowned Bharatanatyam artist Padma Bushan Dr. Padma Subramaniyam in Chennai, India, expressed her pride in the students and mentioned that they would next embark on advanced learning and prepare for their arangetram (advanced performance). With over 250 students under her tutelage, she continues to uphold the rich tradition of Bharatanatyam, inspiring a new generation of dancers.

Dancer Abigail Aishwarya Pany

The Uma Baratha Nrithyam Dance Academy invites the community to explore the beauty and depth of Bharatanatyam. For more information, follow them on their social media or you can contact them at:-

Address          : Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Buntong, 30100 Ipoh, Perak
Email              :
Phone             : +60 12-529 2031

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