A Mother-Daughter Duo’s Kuchipudi Recital

By Nangali S Srinivasa, Murrysville, PA                      e-mail:  srini111@aol.com

Kamala Reddy Rajupet and her daughter Soumya Rajupet gave an engaging Kuchipudi dance recital at the S V Temple auditorium on Saturday, August 6 2017.  It was a tribute to Reddy’s Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam (1929 to 2012), whose

 Soumya Rajupet

decades-long efforts put the Kuchipudi dance on the  national pedestal as a classical dance form, with a long line of students like Reddy scattered all over the world today.

Throughout the recital, the mother-daughter duo kept the audience captivated. The invocatory piece had all the characteristic rhythmic patterns & movements of Kuchipudi.

Soumya portrayed the rigorous and joyous dance of Shiva as Nataraja in the Ananda Tandavam,  taking hymns from Adi Shankara’s Shivananda   Lahari, weaving the fluidity of dance form with the energetic, intricate dance movements, dramatically ending in frozen postures.

In the next item Sanchara Dhara from Jayadeva Ashtapadi,  Kamala Reddy beautifully portrayed the playfulness of Krishna, and Radha overcome with love and devotion to the melody of Krishna’s flute, often portrayed as the Jivatma reaching and me

        Kamala Reddy

rging with Paramatma. In the tarangam of Narayana Teertha, Soumya depicted Gopika vastrapaharanam, with Krishna teasing the bashful Gopikas.

The concluding item was a tribute to Reddy’s Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam, highlighting his dedication to put the art form on a firm pedestal, his struggles along the way, and the accolades he received. This item brought fond remembrances of Guru Vempati to those who are associated with him in Pittsburgh. With synchronous and coordinated dance steps, the dance-duo highlighted their guru’s life.

Explaining the spiritual inner meanings of each piece was useful for those unfamiliar with Indian performing arts, which is yet another approach for worshipping the Infinite, even as we recognize the entertainment value of these art forms.

The recital was a blend of good technique and aesthetics, tastefully done costumes to a well-selected repertoire of lyrics, all of which made a lasting impression on both the uninitiated and connoisseurs alike.   ♣


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