“Rangapravesha” or “Arangetram” refers to a dancer’s first performance before an audience and needless to say, is very special moment in one’s career. Rangapravesha signifies the culmination of years and years of training and elevates someone who was so far a student to the level of a performer.

The advent of commercialization has unfortunately had its impact on the Rangapravesha too. One very commonly finds the entire family of an artist engaged in preparations for the “big event”. It is sad but true that in a bid to out do others, people often splurge extravagant sums of money and to quote an oft-repeated remark “spend more than they would on weddings”. This has led to a perception that the Rangapravesha necessarily has to be an expensive affair and thus for most remains an unfulfilled dream.

Shri Vivekananda Kalakendra under the aegis of the Department of Kannada and Culture has tried to provide solace to such unfulfilled aspirations. For the first time in Karnataka, they organized “Navarangapraveshotsava” a 9 day-long dance festival that was held in Bangalore between 17 & 25 October 2002 at the Ravindra Kalakshetra. It provided an opportunity for 17 budding artists, trained by 10 Gurus to make their stage dubut and showcase their talent and metamorphose from pupil to performer. Smt. Rani Satish, Minister of Kannada and Culture inaugurated the event in a unique manner by playing the veena herself.

While wholeheartedly complimenting the organizers for this unique endeavor. Drishti would also like to draw their attention to some of the observations made by various senior artists and gurus. There was a general consensus that it would be a good idea to spread out the festival over the entire year with about two artistes making their debut each month. This provides a better opportunity for artistes to showcase their talents as well as ensures a more detailed review by critics. It also helps draw the attention of the media more towards the performers and their performances than towards the event and its organization. It would also be a good idea for organizers to call for applications well in advance and screen aspirants beforehand.

Nevertheless, the “Navarangapraveshotsava” was a very welcome event that one hopes will continue to be held every year for ever and ever again!

Bharatanatyam find its origin in the confluence of its essence Bhava – Raga – Tala
– Natyashastara