A crisp presentation with classicality intact is how one can enumerate Deepika Reddy and entourage's recent presentation. Very few artistes can feel the pulse of the audience like Deepika and offer what best suits the occasion and the viewers with no compromises. She has the courage of her conviction — to showcase Kuchipudi in all its glory and command full attention of her neo-cultured, high-brow audience to appreciate a traditional art form.

It was a delightful one hour at Convention Centre of Marriott Hotel, during the charity event ‘Give, So They May Grow' organised by Passionate Foundation, which brought the prized heritage of our state alive on stage. Jayosthu Kuchipudi hailed the land where the Kuchipudi dance originated and went into a tableau-like presentation with erstwhile characters coming alive as Tanashah and Sultan of Golconda. Deepika and her six disciples hail the glory of Kuchipudi dance form with brisk footwork and apt abhinaya, alternating across the stage in artistic pattern in perfect sync. Tanasha's arrival on a chariot fashioned out of dancers replicating the horses and carriage on the move with vigorous footwork was excellent. The arrival of the dancing nomadic Brahmin troupe to the refrain of Amba paraaku… was a thoughtful inception. Deepika chipped in as Satyabhama behind the typical cloth screen that symbolises the sanctified character of Lord Krishna's beloved consort, presenting the Bhamakalapam to the Sultan. This completed the Kuchipudi repertoire in lightening speed.

Deepika went on to present the tourist spots of Andhra Pradesh Andhramu. The dancers through brief but beautifully rhythmic patterns showcased the temples of the state, prefacing the depiction of each place with well-laid out jatis. The mime enactment of the lord of seven hills (Tirumala) was an aesthetic piece of creativity. Deepika's interpolation with the dasa avatars culminating in the Kaliyuga avatar enhanced the depiction. The plate (taambalam) dance by three dancers alternating with the footwork of another three on stage with forward and backward moves was well appreciated.

Last but not the least was how the handicrafts excellence of the state was introduced to the audience through two pairs of dancers making a swift entry through speedy footwork bringing in the folk element of Kuchipudi dance. The highlight of the evening was Deepika's child brigade all dressed in pure white saris wrapped around their tiny waists, rocking to and fro like Kondapalli dancing dolls,with replicas held tight in both hands, to showcase the Kondapalli bommalu (toys) of Andhra Pradesh. Pochampalli weaves were also brought to the fore with two dancers holding an artistically designed silk dupatta between them like a screen for us to see the weaving patterns of rich silk looms. The Kalamkari work was displayed by three dancers who traipsed their way through holding framed pictures of the naturally-dyed, mind-boggling designs and hues of hand-painted work on cloth. The costume was superb with off white dance saris tinged with blouses of red or green for the first part and later the dancers decked with the authentic dress showcasing the weaves of the state (Pochampalli and Kalamkari) was indeed a thoughtful piece of artistic creativity. The dance was part of a charity show .

Keywords: Kuchipudi