Arangetram is the debut on-stage performance of a classical art student, after undertaking years of training. it is a public graduation performance for any art form. The word arangetram is from the Tamil Language and means ascending the stage by a dancer on the completion of her training. Many Indian classical dance forms perform an arangetram once the time has come for a disciple. To perform an arangetram is an old tradition, which marks the pathway for a dancer to then perform alone or be able to give training to other dancers. Once a dancer has complete her training he/she should have an understanding of classical music and the many aspects of dancing. Performing an arangetram does not entail the end of a dancers career.
In Tamil Arangam means a stage and etram means rising or climbing, thus Arangetram literally means climbing the stage or reaching the stage. It refers to the graduation ceremony where the Guru presents his or her pupil to the public. It traces its origins to the devdasi (temple dancer) tradition. Arangetram can also be done for other Indian classical dance styles such as Kathak, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Kathakali and vocal and instruments like Mridangam, ghatam, violin etc.
- Anne-Marie Gaston (1996). Bharata natyam: from temple to theatre. Manohar. p. 225.
- Arangetram (dance debut) in Bharathanatyam: a rite of passage for the court and temple dancers of India, by Hira Harish Panth. State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1993.