Kuchipudi followers recalled the services of Chinta Krishnamoorthy’s service to arts during his centenary celebrations.
Though this event was meant to celebrate Chinta Krishnamurthy, a legend in Kuchipudi Yakshagana prsentation, the focus was more on revival of Yakshagana Prakriya, the mother of Kuchipudi art. After the death of Chinta Venkata Ramayya in 1949, the Chinta ‘Melamu’ (troupe) suddenly felt lost. However, with dedication, his sons Ramamurthy and ‘Bharatakala Prapoorna’ Krishnamurthy took the movement forward. The brothers succeeded in bringing three or four other groups functioning under the names of Mahankali Melamu, Pasumarthi Melamu, Bhagavatula Melamu under the umbrella of ‘Venkatrama Natya Mandali’ in memory of the departed soul. Venkata Ramayya in fact launched Chinta Melamu in the year by then in 1875, most of the leaders of other Melas being direct and indirect disciples of Chinta Venkataramayya. It was Chinta Krishnamurthy who ran this Venkatarama Natyamandali for ages after the death of his elder brother Chinta Ramamurthy in 1950 and rebuilt the sagging movement.
Recalling Krishnamurthy’s services to the art, a function was held at Telugu University’s auditorium under the aegis of Pasumarthy Kesava Prasad, president of All India Kuchipudi Natya Kalamandali, in collaboration with Sai Nataraja Academy of Kuchipudi Dance. Vyjayanthi Kasi, Kuchipudi exponent and Chairman of Karnataka Sangeet Natak Akademi inaugurated the event.
Speaking on the occasion Bhagavatula Sethuram, head of dance art, Telugu University, called Yakshagana as mother of Kuchipudi for its nativity, scholarship and grip on characterisation, dialogue delivery and make up with command on Angikabhinayam, Aharyabhinayam, vachikabhinayam. Pasumarthy Udaya Bhasker, close relative of Chinta Krishnamurthy said they were all natural artistes. Vyjayanthi Kasi, Kuchipudi artiste of Karnataka recalled how Yakshagana was flourishing in her state with hundreds of units taking it up. She hoped Kuchipudi dancers congregate and plan to hold such events. She hoped the literary content like Kandartham, Dwipada and so on would revive.
On the occasion, a book written by Chinta Ramanatham, son of Chinta Krishnamurthy titled Kuchipudi Yakhaganam’ – Sahityam, Sampradayam, Prayogam was released.
To exemplify the great art Yakshagana a condensed play ‘Prahlada’ was staged.