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Vempati Marghazi Utsav- 3rd edition

Kuchipudi Art Academy presented 3rd edition of Vempati's Marghazi Utsav 2018 from 25th to 31st Dec 2018 at Kuchipudi Art Academy Chennai premises. 6 Kuchipudi torch bearers (Master garu's disciples) were awarded with a title " KUCHIPUDI MOUKTHIKAM" for their contribution towards Kuchipudi dance. Master garu's photo gallery was on display. For seven days, there were performances by artists in Kuchipudi and other forms as well. I performed in the second edition of vempati marghazi utsav and was excited to watch the third edition of this festival which invited prime disciples of master garu.

Recipients of Kuchipudi Moukthikam Award

What a brilliant performance I witnessed on day 2 of Kuchipudi Art Academy’s dance festival! Kamala Reddy, one of the senior most students of Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam created magic on stage and I was left with an experience to cherish. She picked three pieces- gems that are rarely performed by master garu’s students. The key feature of dance drama in solo pieces- dramatic picturization of story is seen ample in her first piece- Ksheera sagara sayana, a tyagaraja keertana in devagandhari ragam choreographed by Vempati Chinna Satyam garu. This showed Gajendra Moksham, Draupadi vastrabharanam and saving Ramadas when he got imprisoned by Tanisha etc. She then chose to do a javali by patnam subbramanyam iyer “maryada teliyakapothene” in Surabhi ragam, roopaka talam.

Kamala Reddy performing Draupadi vastrabharanam

The item that amazed me was the last piece she performed “Pralaya payodhije” an ashtapadi by jayadeva. One generally categorizes ashtapadi as an abhinaya piece with very little nritta. The choreography of this item is mesmerizing and showed the true beauty of kuchipudi, a salient feature of how nritta is embedded into such a piece. An item with several swarajathis embeded; it showcased dasavatarams- ten incarnations of lord Vishnu. Watching this performance made my day and I will cherish this experience.

Kamala Reddy performing Gajendra Moksham

Its more than so many decades she might have moved from the watchful eye of master garu, but not one thing has changed in the way she danced. Wonderful bani of master garu is clearly shown to the audience and what a treat it is to the eyes to see those neat stances. An inspiration to multi taskers who have dance as their passion and other profession for another passion/for living.

The only enhancement I wished to have as an audience is to have better music. The technology of today helps to enhance the musical experience and using that will give a seamless experience to the audience.

One more wonderful experience I had during this festival is on the second day when two artists are performing shivastakam. Because of technical glitches, the audio had trouble and stopped suddenly. The audience who were seated started singing the jathi and by the time the jathi is completed, the audio was recovered. What an experience to sit in that environment? This reminded me of the last birthday celebrations of master garu I attended. The disciples of master garu sang shivashtakam and my guru seetha akka danced that day. I felt the same vibrations again when we all sang for the artists who are performing shivashtakam.

Jai Kishore Mosalikanti performing saraswati invocation

On the third day of the festival, I witnessed Kuchipudi performance by Guru Jai Kishore Mosalikanti. It was wonderful as usual. I have attended several of his performances before and every time I enjoy his choreographies. He chose to present Sarasawati invocation, Alokaye sri bala krishnam tarangam followed by aarti. A choreographer par excellence, his works are much appreciated by the audience.

I couldn’t attend other days of the festival. I wish Kuchipudi Art Academy continues doing this festival and invites full length kuchipudi performances.

Credits: Photos from Kuchipudi Art Academy social media page.

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