A significant milestone in a dancer's journey

Arangetram is a traditional term used in the context of Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form. It refers to the debut performance of a student who has completed several years of rigorous training and is ready to showcase their skills on a public stage. The Arangetram marks a significant milestone in the dancer's journey, symbolizing their mastery of technique, expression, and artistry.

The Arangetram is not merely a dance recital, it is an event that brings together the student's family, friends, fellow dancers, and esteemed members of the dance community. It instills a sense of confidence, discipline, and commitment to their craft. It is an opportunity to share their passion for Bharatanatyam with a wider audience.

It is a celebratory event where the student presents a full-length solo performance, accompanied by live musicians and showcasing their talent and dedication to the art form. Beyond the performance aspect, the Arangetram serves as a cultural and educational experience, as it allows the audience to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of Bharatanatyam. It helps preserve and promote the rich traditions of Indian classical dance, passing them on to future generations.

Laiya is a disciple of Sunanda Narayanan of Thillai Fine Arts Academy and will be dedicating this special performance in honor of her grandfather, Professor Felix Mathew.She will also be culminating the recital by highlighting her diverse repertoire of techniques through a fusion piece that blends together ballet and Bharatanatyam, as well as her multiple modalities of movement and dance training.

About the artist

Laiya Maria

Laiya, a talented and multifaceted individual, has always been drawn to the world of music and movement. From a young age, she was introduced to the arts by her grandfather, Professor Felix Mathew. Her passion for artistic expression led her to pursue classical training in Bharatanatyam, a traditional Indian dance form. For the past eight years, Laiya has honed her skills and immersed herself in the rich cultural heritage of Bharatanatyam. However, her artistic journey didn't stop there. Her curiosity and thirst for knowledge drove her to explore various other dance styles, including Ballet, Modern, and Western Contemporary. Through these diverse forms, she discovered a new sense of strength and versatility in her abilities as a dancer.

Driven by a desire to make a difference, Laiya actively engaged in activism. She recognized the power of collective action in shaping a more just and equitable society. Alongside her dance workshops and music endeavors, Laiya dedicates her time and energy to various social causes, lending her voice to advocate for change. In addition to her dedication to music and movement, she pursued her love for the Veena, a traditional Indian string instrument. Her commitment to learning and exploring different art forms became a testament to her passion and dedication.

Laiya's exceptional commitment to activism and education led her to the Data Activism program at MIT Media Lab. She was selected to participate in a high school data activism program, where she had the opportunity to work with a nonprofit organization that used data analysis to tackle social justice issues. Laiya continues to explore her passions, always seeking new ways to make a meaningful impact. Her journey as a dancer, musician, activist, and scholar is an inspiring example of how embracing multiple disciplines can lead to personal growth and a powerful force for change in the world.

The Lotus Fund

The Lotus Fund was established by Laiya Maria Pavlov, at the completion of her Bharatanatyam Arangetram in memory of her late grandfather Felix “Rajan” Mathew. The fund provides scholarships to aspiring young Indian dance students with demonstrated financial need. Scholarship funds cover 1 year of dance instruction for each selected applicant, and applicants may reapply for funding in subsequent years regardless of whether they were selected for the scholarship previously. This funding reflects Laiya’s deep personal commitment to promoting Dance training for youth and to eliminating societal inequities in access to the arts. All donations made to The Lotus Fund are used exclusively for providing scholarships to cover the cost of Indian Dance Instruction.

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Nattuvangam & MC Smt. Sunanda Narayanan
Thillai Fine Arts Academy

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Violin Smt. Tara Anand Anubhava School Of Music

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Veena Smt. Durga Krishnan New England School of Carnatic Music

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Mridangam Artist Tarun Bangalore

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Ballet Choreography Lindsay Moncrieff Acton School of Ballet

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