The Kuchipudi Parampara Foundation, a non-profit initiative founded by Bengaluru-based entrepreneur-dancer, Deepa Sashindran, celebrated the second edition of Kuchipudi Parampara Natya Utsav recently at Seva Sadan, Bengaluru.
The well attended event was a good conglomeration of exponents of Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam, giving an opportunity for budding practitioners of the art-forms to meet established luminaries.
Interestingly, the Utsav honoured two exponents from diverse backgrounds—Vedantam Radhesyam, veteran exponent from the Kuchipudi tradition and Praveen Kumar, a Bharatanatyam dancer making his mark and currently training under Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar.
The chief guests for the occasion were Lakshmi Mani, noted Kuchipudi exponent from Chennai, and Lalitha Srinivasan, eminent Bharatanatyam guru of Bengaluru.
The event featured three brief Kuchipudi recitals by blossoming artists—Himansee (Warangal), Vempati Priyanka (Chennai) and the duo of Deepa Sashindran and Rekha Satish. Praveen Kumar performed Bharatanatyam. All the concerts succeeded to a large extent, in highlighting the salient features of the different art forms and banis.
Himansee (disciple of Sudheer Rao) has an alluring stage-presence and is well-trained. However, she must avoid falling into the trap of performing in an over-dramatic manner.
Priyanka, disciple and wife of Vempati Ravishankar, performed a kriti of Swati Tirunal and two compositions of Annamacharya. Although she adhered to the Vempati bani, a few unusual movements seemed to detract from the spontaneous beauty of this bani. The highlight of Praveen Kumar’s recital was the humorous padam Tarumaruladey, which was greatly relished by the audience. In an earlier item, the dancer portrayed the pranks of Krishna. The duet by Deepa and Rekha included the tarangam which is a Kuchipudi hallmark. But the twin load of organising and performing was probably a tad too much for the pair.
H.N. Suresh of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bengaluru, and scholar ‘Satavadhani’ Dr. Ganesh were among those who graced the occasion. Young dancers Sujay Shanbag and Srividya Angara were the emcees for the programme.
The Kuchipudi Parampara Natya Utsav is a welcome addition to Bengaluru's cultural calendar. With some ironing of organisational hiccups, the festival will find a place in the hearts of art-lovers.
(The author is an arts writer, translator, singer, quizzer and compere)