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The Commitment

I am writing this with the experience of planning my own daughter's Bharatanatyam Arangetram and after volunteering actively to numorous Arangetrams and Rangmach Praveshas of my friend's children. 

The thought of Arangetram is very exciting for dancers and parents equally. But what level of commitment is required to complete an Arangetram in a successful way? How much time, money and work is involved in it? Of course, remember the long drives and waitings and the yellow lights you hit during the past several years for making your child learn the dance.

Commitment of parents: You must have probably had 2 hours of classe in a week so far. If it is a one session of 2 hr long class, you must have drove to the class once in a week, which is not a big deal. Think about atleast 6 to 8 hrs of class per week, for the next one year. I am saying this because most teachers plan at least one year ahead. Also,  so far your child must have had a group lesson and the fees are nominal. These Arangetram preperation classes are one on one usually, unless the teacher is planning several students in a season. So multiply the fees by atleast 6 to 8 times for each month. So a great deal of time and money commitment is required from the parents side. In addition, both parents should save atleast two weeks of vacation for the program. I would recommend one week before and one week after. 

Commitment of the dancer: Does the dancer have 8 hours to spend for the dance class after her/his school/homework and other extra carricular and volunteering commitments? One piece of advice, please do NOT plan arangetram of a highschooler, when she/he is a junior. Sophomore or Senior year at highschools are much less stressfull that the junior year especially when they have to concentrate on PSAT, SAT etc...Also this is the time one will have to get the drivers permit and start learning. Think about all these things before you commit the date.

The Finance: The money part is very tricky. It can vary from super delux to extra ordinary. You can have special orchestra from India or recorded audio for the Arangetram. You can have the program start at 2:00pm and end at 4:00pm with a snack and tea, or start at 4:00 with snacks and tea and end with 5 course Indian full meal dinner. You can have chief guests and guest oh honors and give them great gifts. You can have a small recital hall or a high school performing arts theater as venue. You can go with two art silk cotumes (under $250 total) or pick three real Kancheepuram silk saree costumes (more than $1200 total ). You can buy all real temple jewelry for all the ornaments which may cost you about 3000 dollars or go with imitation temple jewelry for under 200 dollars. You can send evites for zero dollar or spend hundrerds or even thousands of dollars to print invitations. 

Basically, it really depends upon how much you are willing to spend, there is no end. If you go with super minimum with family and close friends, in this country (USA) you need atleast 3000 dollars, if you are ok with recorded audio and fine with tea and snacks for the guests. When you do the Arangetram budgeting, include Artists cost, Gifts, Auditorium rental, food and accomodation for artists for a week, Arangetram costumes, Jewelry, printing etc...