When Pingry School student Sharanya Pulapura gave her classical Indian dance graduation performance, the Bharatanatyam Arangetram, at the Watchung Hills Performing Arts Center in Watchung, NJ, she decided to dedicate the program to Matheny. The printed program pointed out that Matheny’s mission is “to provide exceptional care and an optimal quality of life for children and adults with special needs and medically complex developmental disabilities. All donations are voluntary.” Pulapura, a resident of Bridgewater, raised more than $2,000.
Bharatanatyam is the term for a style of dance that originated in the temples of south India thousands of years ago. The style incorporates precise hand gestures, facial expressions and sophisticated body and foot movements. Arangetram means “ascending the stage.” Pulapura danced for three hours accompanied by live music from a south Indian classical music vocalist, drummer, flutist and her guru/teacher, Renuka Srinivasan, who operates the Tala Shruti School of Dance in Fords, NJ.