S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Radha Reddy

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Radha and Raja Reddy are the most famous duo performing and teaching Kuchipudi. Radha was born on 15 February 1952 in Gottalgaon, Andhra Pradesh. When Radha was about 13 years old, she wanted to dance and so did Raja whom she was married to when very young. They trained at Sri Siddhendra Kalakshetram in Kuchipudi village and at Kalakshetram, Eluru.  Both of them went to Hyderabad and learnt Kuchipudi during their gurukulavasam with Vedantam Prahlada Sarma. With a scholarship from the Andhra Pradesh state government, the duo moved to Delhi in 1966 to learn choreography from Guru Maya Rao at the Natya Institute of Choreography. Briefly, Radha also learnt Odissi from Mayadhar Raut.

Radha and Raja performed in the youth festival of  the Sangeet Natak Akademi, and soon made a name as a  dancing duo. For two years they also performed in Indrani Rehman's troupe. Radha and Raja  Reddy were invited to perform at the Avignon Festival in France and the Salzburg Festival in Austria where they received standing ovations. They have performed at the Festivals of India in the U.S.A., the U.K. and Bangladesh, at the All-star Ballet Gala Festival in Japan, on the Mississippi river for US President Ford, and a galaxy of notable personalities across the globe.

In their careers spanning over six decades, Radha and Raja Reddy have made a distinctive contribution to the enrichment of Kuchipudi dance. They have developed excellent solo, duo and group presentations and have been teaching Kuchipudi and yoga at their institution Natya Tarangini, in Delhi. A much awaited event is the 'Parampara Series' Festival of Dance and Music launched by the Reddys 20 years ago. The state-of-the-art centre built by them at Saket in Delhi is emerging as an important space to propagate Indian art and culture. Radha and Raja Reddy have been conferred prestigious awards like the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and the Nritya Choodamani Award. The couple have been selected to receive the Kalidas Samman this year from the state government of Madhya Pradesh.

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