Reliance Industries chairperson Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani on June 5 hosted Radhika Merchant's debut classical dance performance at the Jio World Centre in Mumbai.
The high-profile event was attended by Bollywood celebrities, cricketers and politicians.
Radhika Merchant, who is the daughter of prominent business personality Viren Merchant, trained in Bharatanatyam for eight years. She was a student of Guru Bhavana Thakar from Mumbai-based dance academy Shree Nibha Arts.
June 5 marked her "Arangetram" -- the completion of dance training. Watch her debut performance below:
Radhika Merchant's performance began with a "Pushpanjali" to invoke the deities of the stage, god and guru (teacher) for their blessings. It was followed by "Ganesh Vandana (worship)" and ‘Allaripu’ -- prayers for the success of the performance.
The Arangetram also included the "Achyutam Keshavam", a popular devotional song set to raga "Ragamalika" and telling three stories – of Shabri’s longing of lord Rama, the dance of Lord Krishna with the gopis (women cowherds) and that of Yashoda and baby Krishna.
Merchant then delivered a rendition of devotional literature "Shiva Panchakshara".
A performance of "AstaRasa", the eight basic emotions essential to human being, as described in the Natya Shastras, a treatise on performing arts, followed the "Shiva Panchakshara".
Merchant concluded her performance with the "Tillana" -- a dance involving intricate footwork, complex hand movements and statuesque postures.