Sunday, August 3, 2014


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of photographing Abi's veena arangetram. A veena is a large Indian string instrument, and an arangetram is a type of recital. I met Abi earlier this year when I shot the photographs for her program. Abi is quite the talented young woman. In tenth grade now, she started learning the veena as a six-year-old.  Her most recent instructor, the Guru Poornima Rao, lives in Austin. For the last six years, Abi's family has made the trek from Dallas to Austin (about 200 miles) every other week, so that she could continue with her lessons. In addition, Abi has taken piano lessons since age four, and plays the flute in her school band.

The arangetram was held at the Courtyard Theater in Plano, Texas. Upon entering the foyer, a teenage girl was just finishing up the beautiful welcome symbol, made from fresh flowers.
 As guests arrived, the women were given sprigs of fresh jasmine to pin in their hair.

A reception was held prior to the recital, and I loved the amazing swirl of colors, soft voices, and the scent of jasmine all around me.

Prior to the start of the program, I photographed the family on stage.
Abi also posed with her guru, the two gentlemen who would accompany her during her performance, and the program's commentator.

When the program commenced, we were in for a treat!  Over two hours of Indian music, nothing like I'd ever heard before. Abi's poise and calmness were incredible; I don't think she was even nervous. What an incredible evening!

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