Bharathanatyam Arangetram - An event Decoration

Decoration plays an integral part in improving the overall presentation of any event. Received an opportunity to decorate for an Arangetram - Indian classical solo debut dance performance.

Years of training from childhood days resulted in an awesome performance by Jayashree Vijay in her solo debut dance. I was amazed with her high energy level despite the fact of being a full time working mother. Her dedication and hard work explicitly shows in her performance.  Her dance stance and expressions were admirable. This event is very special as her guru, Smt. Sweta Ravishankar's maiden arangetram of her dance school "Sarada Kala Nilayam". Both together nailed it along with the little Krishna's 3 minute entry which stole the show;) Congratulations Jayashree and Sweta Mam for your accomplishments! Wish you many more successful moments to cherish. 

With less than 3 weeks in hand, I was requested to take in charge of decorating the theater for the big event. I was also given complete freedom with the design plan and later made few changes to keep it simple yet elegant. Took this as a challenge to help decorate given the short notice. But the actual challenge was not it, the items I was provided with were surprisingly not paired. Compiled them into a quick plan for a simple and elegant decor as requested.  

The other hidden challenge was to add the banner on the backdrop as requested by Guru. This whole process of hanging the banner took almost an hour. In the meantime my 2 big supporters, one being my trustworthy friend and the other being my older son managed to take in charge of the lobby decor as discussed earlier. 

Altar and Risers Setup:

Altar being the essential part of an arangetram decoration turned out to be the focus of attention in this decor. 

Wooden 2 stepped furniture handmade at home was draped with the silk fabric to add to the divine grandeur set-up for Lord Nadaraja, "God of Dance". The brass idol on the 1st step, was adorned with silk attire and the fresh blooms gave the perfect divine atmosphere.  Lord ganesh on the next step with two lamps (with LED lights) on either sides on all layers.

Two glass vases were also dressed up with silk bordered fabric for a traditional look. Unique and refreshing flower arrangements and offerings completed this beautiful set up.

We quickly managed to set up the risers with some cushion and covered it with the bordered ivory fabric for the live orchestra. 


Black backdrop is so versatile that it complements almost any subject and also anchors the decoration very well. The brass hanging lamps were of 2 different kinds, one double layered and the other single layered with Goddess Lakshmi. Lighting played a significant role here, managed to add another layer to the bottom of the lamp with the led lights for the 2 layered effect on either side of the banner. 

The silk garlands pulled it all together. Used all the three rods provided for the angled 3 dimensional effect with the appropriate length, making sure they do not cause any hindrance for the dancer. 

Assumed the vinyl banner being lightweight, the chains and grommets on the banner will hold it in place. It was not an easy task as the banner was not framed. The corners curled making the banner wavy and unstable. Sand bags with strings, clamps, and even some paddles were used to give enough support to hang it in place. 

A small tip, incase you have a canvas or a vinyl banner, have it framed or attach the stretched banner to paddles on all four sides. Incase transporting is an issue,  simply tape 2 foam poster boards to avoid wavy banner or prevent the ends from curling. This can help get the banner as backdrop instantly. 

Sangu and Chakra standing lamps with the kerala lamp centered on the floor at the back adds sparkles of lights along with the tiny glass votives tealights up front.   

Lobby decor:

There was no specific theme to this dance event as a variety of Gods and Goddesses were included in the performance. A simple and elegant (as requested) display of all the idols were set up on a maroon silk saree. 

Guru's picture, nattuvangam, thattukali and bells were also added to the display. 

Two fresh flowering arrangements on either sides and the votive lights along with fresh flowers adds more beauty to this beautiful set up.

The inevitable Tanjore paintings and garlands were displayed exquisitely on the sheen ivory fabric backdrop. 

Reception/ Entrance:

The entrance being the first impression must be at its best. Two welcome tables draped in silk fabrics, beautiful booms in decorative vases, dancer's portraits on easels and welcoming garlands at the entry doors anchored the reception area beautifully. 

Artfully arranged aromatic Rangoli was eye-catching. Being peak summer, the fresh flowers might not last long under the hot sun, so came up with this Urali design. A bed of aromatic leaves gave an instant fresh and cool look to this inviting rangoli. 

7 Urali were grouped from big to small in a curvy unique pattern, filled with fresh flowers floating in water. Decorative lamps gave the finishing effect. 

It was a great pleasure and wonderful experience to be part of this event with the decorations. Thanks much my dear friend and my amazing family for your helping hands! Thanks to all for stopping by :) 


  1. Dear Amudha,

    I am spellbound on seeing your Arangetram backdrop design and the overall setup. What's more enthralling is the appropriateness of each item placed where it actually belongs and treats the ambiance more natural and easy to connect with. You definitely have an eye for detail. Linus Pauling once said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” You have plethora of ideas! I wish you all the very best and urge you to take up more such assignments.

    1. Your keen observation is much appreciated. Thank you Yadhunandhan for your motivating generous words!

  2. Awesome Work !
    Reception area : Decoration in the Grass -- New concepts looking really nice

    Lobby : Mala with all Tanjore paintings and the flower all the way...looks really nice, giving the feel of how dance has to be worshipped in the sense, it has after all passed thru generations where the dance first choreographed by our beloved God Sadashiva.

    Stage : Back Drop : Looks elegant, more than that is the decoration in the stage, the color of yellow is so prominent. I dont know much about decoration, as a onlooker its absolutely stunning!!!!

    Overall I see lot of creativity, new ideas in each and every project. Thats your personality I think Amudha...I am very proud of your work and you as well!!!

    1. The prominent amber lights (orange-ish gold) along with the silk fabric provides a magical feel to this decor. Thanks a ton Kiru for your elaborate feedback!

    2. I'm absolutely awe-struck! The elegant background and placement of all objects are absolutely brilliant. By each post you have shared your innovative ideas and have changed my idea of thinking. You have an angle to turn anything into something absolutely stunning and fabulous.

    3. Feeling humble and grateful with your kind words of appreciation Priya. Get motivated and think creative :)

  3. I like your detailed description on this subject. Keep it up with more such posts!

  4. Thanks designed for sharing such a nice opinion, article is good, that's why i have
    read it fully. Your writing is really convincing and can definitely work.

  5. Everything is very open with a really clear description of this decor. It was definitely informative. Your website is useful.
    Thank you for sharing!

  6. I appreciate the decoration done for the Bharathanatyam Arangetram event decoration. The occasion of Bharathanatyam Arangetram is to be celebrated with all the pomp and show. We also celebrate Arangetram in a very grand manner at Geethalayam Bharatanatyam. All the preparation work will be extraordinary.


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