The fifth edition of Kuchipudi Parampara Foundation- Natya Parmpara Utsav– dedicated to “Divinity in Art” is conducted by one of the prime disciples of Kuchipudi doyen Manju Bhargavi- Deepa Narayanan Sashindran. This festival is dedicated to Late Guru Vempati Ravishankar who passed away at a very young age of 47. The whole fraternity of Kuchipudi missed a complete artist – a composer, singer, writer, performer, teacher and a choreographer. His contribution to the art form was showcased through a short documentary curated by Smt Sudha Sridhar. Two amazing artists- Guru Bhagavatula Ramamoorthy and Ranjani Ganesan were felicitated in the festival.
The festival opened with an invocatory performance by Kruthi Ashok who chose to present a purandara dasa keertana. Parimala Haripriya disciple of Chintaluri Srilakshmi, Gantasala Pavankumar, Padmavathi Ramanujam who is now being systematically mentored under Guru Deepa Narayanan presented 2 items- one Annamacharya Keertana and another- a Narayana teertha tarangam wherein she presented Deepa Narayanan’s choreographies. Both the pieces are choreographed with traditional kuchipudi features incorporated into the choreography. Haripriya showcased good hold on both the nritta and abhinaya parts and with few more years of training, one can expect a fine kuchipudi dancer from her. (Music credits: Sweta Prasad).
The festival then presented professional performers in Kuchipudi and Odissi. Srividya Angara, disciple of Vijaya Valli Priya performed traditional kuchipudi items- Mandodari Sabdam and Krishnam ka Laya Sakhi Sundaram tarangam.
Haripriya, Srividya , Girish and Devi, Uthara
The duo Girish and Devi enthralled the audience with their presentation. Simple and neat performance, great coordination, melodious music makes their presentation really enjoyable- exactly what audience would like to wish for in a good presentation. They presented Surya Sthuti, an excerpt from their production Arjunah Dasanameeyam and a tarangam.
Later Uthara Antherjenam, disciple of Guru Ratikanta Mohapathra and Smt. Sujatha Mohapathra performed Batu Nritya where in the dancer worshipped Batuka Bhairava, a form of Lord Shiva. This piece reminded the audience of Gotipua, a dance form from which Odissi originated. She later presented Krishnaleela through 'Kede chhando jale lo sahi' - a famous Odiya bhajan written by the celebrated Odia poet, Sri Banamali Das.
This is followed by the last piece of the festival performed by Yeleswarupu Srinivasulu, a Sangeet Nataka Akademi awardee in Kuchipudi. The dance form which has theatrical part as its back bone comes to the audience bringing a story which generally conveys a message of how to behave in the society, what is considered to be good and bad and how good prevails over bad. Conveying in today’s generation language, Rajmouli- the famous director of bahubali said “ the power of hero increases with the competency of the villain”. Such is the importance of having a powerful antagonist in a drama or a movie. Srinivasulu enacted the Prathinayaka patras in Kuchipudi Yakshagana by presenting snippets from the dance dramas. The way he enacted as Bhasmasura and Hiranyakasipa gave the festival an authentic touch. It was refreshing to actually watch a traditional dance drama snippet amidst several modern age fit kuchipudi performances.
Overall, the festival was a great success in bringing together several performances in Kuchipudi and Odissi.