Kuchipudi maestro in choreography classic

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By PINAKI MAJUMDAR in Jamshedpur
  • Published 10.11.02

Jamshedpur, Nov 10: The audience at the Rajendra Vidyalaya auditorium came alive to the charismatic choreography and scintillating Kuchipudi dance and drama which was organised as a part of platinum jubilee celebrations of the Andhra Association this evening.

The programme kicked off with two solo dance recitals performed by Vanaja and Vijaya, Kuchipudi experts from the Chennai-based Kuchipudi Art Academy.

The impatient audience were waiting for the popular dance drama “Sri Krishna Parijatham” composed by Vempati Chinna Satyam, a recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan.

As the curtains opened, a suthradhar attired in traditional Kuchipudi outfit introduced the dance drama, the story of which is found in the Harivamsa Purana. The main characters at the drama — Sri Krishna, Satyabhama, Rukmini and Narada were played by Neelima, Prabha Ramesh, Srimayi De Sarkar and Kasturi during their two-hour long performance, which comprised four scenes and kept the audience glued to their seats.

Vempati's portrayal of the different characters in the drama accompanied by his brilliant choreography was received with thunderous applause from the audience.

The solo items and the dance drama have been staged all over India and abroad.

The Andhra Association, Kadma had taken the initiative in bringing the classical dance drama for the city audience.

A recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 1991, Vempati dedicated his life to the cause of Kuchipudi dance.

Till the seventies, Kuchipudi remained not only neglected but also lacked acceptance because of its rustic overtones.

With a burning desire to spread Kuchipudi, Vempati started teaching this art form and also set up Kuchipudi Art Academy in 1963.

Vempati who was in the city for taking part in the Andhra Association platinum jubilee celebrations, told The Telegraph that his long list of disciples include noted Kuchipudi dancers Sonal Man Singh, Yamini Krishna Murthy, Vjayantimala and many more.

The number of students who have undergone training at the Kuchipudi Art Academy counts more than 8000.

Many of the students, who had have been trained at the academy, have established their own dance schools in the country and abroad and are spreading the art.