THE standing ovation said it all. It was a moment Dr Sivaghami Palaniveloo would always cherish, for it marked a personal milestone. She had just completed her arangetram (maiden solo public performance) in the classical Bharata Natyam dance.
She had danced exquisitely, displaying slick movements and mime to express emotion and spiritual devotion before a packed Auditorim DBKL on Saturday night.
Her arangetram was the culmination of a journey into the world of classical dance that began at the tender age of six under the guidance of her first Guru, the late Asha Thiagarajan. She took a break when she was 15, to pursue her education.
After obtaining her medical degree, Dr Sivaghami again immersed herself in the world of dance under the guidance of another Guru, Malliga Perumal, with the sole aim of having a solo performance.
Her uncle, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who was guest of honour at the arangetram, said Dr Sivaghami had shown her expertise in the classical dance.
Her performance started off with prayers followed by Thodaya Mangalam, Jathiswa-ram, Shabdam, Varnam, Patham (Paarkadal Maimele), Patham (Aadikondar), Aandal Paa-suram and Thillana.
A team of classical musicians accompanied the performance.
After the performance Dr Sivaghami honoured her guru Malliga Perumal and presented bouquets to the musicians as well as Samy Vellu and his wife Datin Seri Indrani Samy Vellu before receiving a bouquet herself.
Speaking to The Star, Dr Sivaghami said it had been a long but fulfilling journey and was elated to have achieved her ambition of becoming a classical Bharata Natyam dancer.
I feel a connection with a deeper part of myself when I am dancing. As my mind and body move in accordance to the dance, I feel like I'm in a state of meditation - that I am part of a great story, one without words only expressions, movements and poses, she said.
She said learning the classical dance had taught her perseverance and dedication, empathy and sensitivity, grace and precision, and expression and devotion.