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The Story

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Kaavya is a 10-year-old girl from Texas who loves Harry Potter, puzzles, musical theatre, GIlmore Girls, and robotics.


She also is about to embark on the most important moment of her life up until now: her arangetram. (Translation: ascending the stage).  This 2-hour solo dance debut showcases a mastery in Bharatanatyam, the oldest form of Indian classical dance which originated over 2,000 years ago.  

The pressures for any young person who prepares for this performance are extraordinary, but Kaavya's situation is unique.  She not only is one of the youngest students to have an arangetram, but she is trained by her very own mother, a professional dancer and respected guru with a formidable 

reputation of her own to uphold.

Each gesture in Bharatanatyam holds a distinct meaning that when woven together, tell ancient stories from Hindu mythology.  Kaavya continues the tradition of telling these stories through choreography that has been passed down to her over many generations.  And, in spite of a global pandemic disrupting her performance, emotional breakdowns in rehearsal, and dealing with the disappointment of not having her grandparents visit for her big day, Kaavya impressively adapts to the new circumstances and carries on to claim a dance form that has survived millennia.

Promotional Trailer

The Story

We're asking for your generous support
to help bring this film to national audiences through PBS.

All donations are matched  1-to-1 until September 30, 2023!

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Your tax-deductible donation supports:


-Distribution of film to PBS affiliates

-Marketing of film


-Costs for bringing the film to schools to teach about Indian classical dance.


Production Supporters:
Sesh and Prabha Bala, Sheetal Bedi, Krista and James Calaway, Angel D'Crus, Ali Dhanani, Ben Felleman, Sarah Fenoglio, Kristen Golden, Andrew Gordon, James Gordon, Rebecca Gordon, Robert Gruman, Dean Haddock, Ira and Eve Jacobs, Medha Karve, Alyssa Kirsten, Cindy Leong-Wu, Venu Menon, Sunil Maini, Shaila Patel, Claire Webb, Heather Westendarp, Houck Family Foundation,

Radhika Inamdar of Aundh Private Foundation

Filming began in December 2019 with plans to wrap in May 2020.  But, a global pandemic upended things and both the arangetram and documentary had to be postponed.

A year later, filming resumed and completed in a different reality.

When you make a tax-deductible donation to support this documentary, you are supporting its distribution internationally through film festivals and educational venues. Your generosity and interest in this project is sincerely appreciated.

December 21, 2021., the first public film screening was held at Asia Society Texas (Houston).

Kaavya was selected for the Montreal Independent Film Festival, Toronto Film and Script Awards, Boston Independent Film Awards and was a finalist at the Chinh India Kids Film Festival.

May 10, 2023, KLRN, the PBS Station in San Antonio 

premiered the film on TV, channel 9.2 WORLD station.


Contact us

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If you have questions about this project or would like more information,

please feel free to reach out.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Gordon Education Initiatives for the Performing Arts

3400 Main Street, Suite #2

Houston, TX 77002

713 906-3638


Kaavya Rajarathnam

Lavanya Rajagopalan

and many friends and family in the dance community.

Creators of the Promotional Trailer:

Director - Dan Gordon
Editor - Anisha Acharya

©2022 Gordon Education Initiatives for the Performing Arts

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