Text By – Sai Venkatesh
Bharatanatyam Arangetram of Kumari Mathuschanka Baskaran, a disciple of Muthukalaimaani Gnanasunthary Vasan (MA Bharatanatyam), took place in Zurich, Switzerland on September 14. Mathuschankab was born and raised in Zurich, Switzerland. With the help and support of her parents, she started her dance career in Zurich at the age of 4. She has been trained by her Guru Gnanasunthary Vasan for more than 19 years and has finished three Margams. Mathu has completed her teaching grade in Bharatanatyam with the highest score and is also trained in Carnatic music.
As per hers and parents’ wish, she did her Bharatanatyam Arangetram after finishing her teaching level exams. With the blessings of God, her grandparents, parents, chief guest Dr Marie Stella Sougoumar (associate professor & research supervisor for dance & music Trichirapalli Diocesan Educational society – affiliated to Thanjavur University), Kalaichudar Sumithra Sugendra (Denmark), many other dance teachers around Europe and audience, her Arangetram happened at Schinzenhof Auditorium in Horgen, Switzerland. Mathuschanka got awarded as ‘Narthana Selvi’ by her Guru Gnanasunthary Vasan during her Rangapravesam for completing 3 Margams in Bharatanatyam and for being the first student doing the Rangapravesam after reaching the teacher’s grade exams.
Born in Sri Lanka, Gnanasunthary Vasan started her Bharatanatyam School ‘Ratha Nadanalayam’ after moving to Zurich in Switzerland in 1992. She has successfully taught the divine art of Bharatanatyam to hundreds of students in Zurich. It has helped the kids in Switzerland to find their identity as Indians and to follow their tradition and culture without losing their roots.
During her Arangetram Mathuschanka performed Pushpanjali (raga: Hindolam, tala: Adi), Sankeerna Alarippu (tala: Sankeerna Chapu), Jathiswaram (raga: Vasaspathi, tala: Adi), Sabdam on Lord Aiyappa (raga: Ragamalika, tala: Misra Chapu), Varnam (raga: Shivaranjani, tala: Adi), Keerthanam Om Namo Narayana (raga: Karnaranjani, tala: Kanda Chapu), Padam Yethanai Sonnalum (raga: Saaveri, tala: Adi), Ashtapadi Sa Virahe (raga: Darbari Kanada, tala: Adi), Kaavadichindhu Valli Kanavan Perai (raga: senchurutti, tala: Adi) and Thillana (raga: Kathanakuthuhalam, tala: Adi).
Guru Gnanasunthary Vasan on nattuvangam; Udupi S Srinath (Thrivandrum) on vocal; K S Bhavani Shankar (Bangalore) on Mridangam; Kalaiarasan Ramanathan (Adyar) on Violin; Biraveen Jeyendran on Tabla and Morsing provided the musical accompaniment.