The two-day Antarjateeya Jayanthi Utsavam was a fitting tribute by renowned artistes to late Vempati Chinna Satyam.
Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam — the very name conjures up a splendid image of Kuchipudi dance; it is rather impossible to imagine what this great dance form would have been without him. In a fitting tribute to the maestro Chennai-based Kuchipudi Art Academy and Kuchipudi Kala Kshetra Visakhapatnam organised a grand two-day Antharjateeya Jayanthi Utsavam of the maestro at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam.
The two-day event treated dance aficionados to a splendid fare. Evoking warm memories of the maestro, it turned audience nostalgic. With seasoned artistes paying tributes in their respective styles to the maestro, it was truly an utsavam of a high order.
Also, it revealed the high level of esteem that the renowned artistes of different dance forms have for the Kuchipudi maestro. Be it Odissi, Kathak, Kathakali or Mohiniattam besides Kuchipudi, the very breath of the maestro, each style sparkled in its entire iridescence.
With maestro’s senior disciples Bala Kondalarao, Anupama Mohan and promising others performing on stage, it stood out as a remarkable tribute in Guru Bhakthi. The presence of the maestro’s wife, Swarajya Lakshmi and a performance by his son Ravishankar added the dimension of close family touch to the event.
Though the city is not new to dance festivals, it certainly towered over the rest in its quality on every count.
A heartening feature of the event was that every one performed to live orchestral support which has, of late, been on the wane. In a way, the event presented a picture-perfect conduct of Nrityotsvam. The Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam Puraskar was presented to renowned music composer Patrayani Sangeetha Rao in recognition of his lifetime contribution to music in Kuchipudi dance.
The event opened with a sprightly performance by Niveditha, Kironmayi, Swetha, Sannidha and Varshini of the city-based Kuchipudi Kala Kshetra of the maestro.
The budding talents presented Gajavadana Beduve of Purandardas and Brindavana Nilaye with aplomb. Reflecting quality training at the Guru’s institution, the artistes of promise interpreted every nuance of the lyrics in gestural vocabulary in perfect coalescence of footwork and expression.
Then the spectrum of diverse dances began unfolding their varied shades of unrivalled excellence.
Renowned Odissi danseuse Sujatha Mohapatra’s performance was classy. She commenced with Guruvandana and followed it up with a visual treat in kinetic phraseology of Odissi. While her Pallavi presentation weaving an intricate matrix of floor designs was awesome, her exposition of Sri Krishna Baala Leela, the childhood pranks of Lord Krishna remained a remarkable exploration of lyrical nuances in a wide range of sanchari bhavas.
Particularly her delineation of the emotional landscape of mother Yashoda’s mind on coming to know of her child’s divinity stood out for its emotional appeal.
Marked by statuesque postures and expressional élan, she looked like a kinetic verse on stage. While Jayanti Kastuar’s Kathak spread out the majestic aura of its distinct footwork in all its grace grandeur, in a duet of Kathakali and Mohiniattam, Kalamandalam Piyal and Mandakini Trivedi presented the tale of Mohini Bhasmasura with panache.
Vempati Ravishankar’s presentation of a Javali on the second day was remarkable for its exceptional exposition in the idiom of Kuchipudi.
With Keerthi Priya as Sri Krishna, Srimayi Vempati as Satyabhama and Indira Pammi as Rukmini bringing out their best in Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam’s choreography, Sri Krishna Parijatham, the first ballet choreographed by the maestro way back in 1959 capped the event.