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Updated: December 30, 2013 13:24 IST

‘Kuchipudi, a wheel that accelerates mind, body’

T.  Appala Naidu
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Kuchipudi exponent turned teacher A.B. Balakondala Rao and her son Mr. Adithya at Kuchipudi in Krishna District.
Special Arrangement Kuchipudi exponent turned teacher A.B. Balakondala Rao and her son Mr. Adithya at Kuchipudi in Krishna District.

The renowned Kuchipudi exponent turned teacher Ms. Balakondala Rao, known as Balakka among the dance fraternity, stresses on the need for treating the art as ‘Life Yoga’.

Receiving Padmabhushan Dr. Vempati Chinasatyam Smarak Puraskar is a reminder call for me to realise my goal to spread the art form Kuchipudi, said Kalaratna A.B. Balakondala Rao from Visakhapatnam.

The renowned Kuchipudi exponent turned teacher Ms. Balakondala Rao, known as Balakka among the dance fraternity, stresses on the need for treating the art as ‘Life Yoga’. Exploring the nuances of Kuchipudi through her Guru, Padmabhushan Dr. Vempati Chinasatyam, she came up with Kuchipudi Kalakshetra in the city of destiny.

“Being a teacher, I will help my students realise how learning the dance form would shape them into responsible human being. Undisputable argument is that pursuing the art is a wheel that accelerates both mind and body,” said Balakka. Among the 80 students, majority of them are young whose world is different from what they are pursing in the Kalakshetra.

Balakka, whose entire family was into classical dance and music forms, added that these students were experiencing and enjoying the change in their mannerisms, excellence in academics and of late behaviour in the society too. Her youngest son, A.B. Adithya, also teaches Kuchipudi along with her.

Going down the memory lane of Guru-Shishya bond with Vempati Chinasatyam, Balakka details “I was the instrument for all his experiments on the dance. I always enjoy the art, be it as a student, exponent or teacher”. The award is a blessing from my guru, directing me to continue my passion and service to the art, she told The Hindu during the three-day Tanisha Yuva Natyotsav being held at Kuchipudi village in Krishna district.

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