A three-day Kuchipudi Nrityotsav organised by TTD and Kinnera Art Theatres held at Ravindra Bharati opened with a thought-provoking ballet Tripada Ganga’. This was held in memory of Pasumarthy Venugopalakrishna Sarma, a great scholar and guru of Kuchipudi who served as principal of the Kuchipudi School in Kuchipudi village. Two more events were held in memory of Vempati Chinna Satyam and Vedantham Satyanarayana Sarma. Mandali Buddha Prasad, chairman, language commission, who hails from Avanigadda inaugurated the event, presided over by K.V. Ramana , advisor, Culture.

The novel concept conceived by dance guru Pasumarthy Ramalinga Sastry was meant to present three ‘nayika’ bhavas; ‘sweeya’, ‘parakeeya’ and ‘saamaanya’ narrating the birth and passage of Ganga from heaven to earth to finally quench the thirst of people. Ramalinga Sastry’s concept was put in lyrical form in simple language. This was pre-recorded music, directed by D.S.V. Sastry lending his voice to the composition with conviction.

The strong points of this production were brilliant choreography by Ramalinga Sastry, melodious vocals by D.S.V. Sastry and Ramalinga Sastry’s wife Padma and charming Sai Chinmayi portraying Ganga. It featured almost two dozen dancers who gave impressive portrayals. It opened with salutations to Vinayaka in traditional style leading the god behind a curtain and devotees dancing with him, after the curtain was removed.

A curtain erected behind the stage displayed pictures of men and woman in three situations depicting these three nayika bhavas. Later this was replaced with a picture of Ganga in human form.

The ballet narrated the popular story of how Bhageeratha prays to Ganga to descend to earth and save the Sagara kin, so that they get salvation. Ganga is said to have materialised from under Maha Vishnu’s feet and started flowing out with tremendous force. Bhageeratha pleads with Ganga to slow down lest the entire world be drowned. On her advice, he prays to Lord Siva and the latter tames Ganga with his hair. Srihari Charanalaaharanala Udbhavinche Ganga

The ballet reflected Ramalinga Sastry’s learning of both the styles of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi with plenty of charming jatis that thrilled the audience. The Brahma sequence lacked clarity. Though Ramalinga Sastry’s role was limited to a couple of sequences, his choreography was marked with classicism. Others in important characters were D.V. Nagasai, Kesavi, Nitya, Vaishnavie and Krishnalasya. Srinivas on mridangam, Dinkar on violin Phani Narayana on veena and Murali on flute added to the strength of musical support