My doors are open to those with a zeal to nurture it: Vedantam Radheshyam
Many of his students have migrated to places all over the world to promote the ancient Kuchipudi art form.
But, maestro Vedantam Radheshyam, after retiring from service, has returned to this village, his native, to groom more talented children.
“I have never dreamt of leaving the village. There is a greater need for my presence here till my last breath to pass on the nuances of the art form to passionate youths,” Mr. Radheshyam, who is synonymous with Bhama Kalapam, a dance drama, told The Hindu.
Former guest faculty of Hyderabad Central University, Mr. Radheshyam recently retired from service as vice-principal-cum-senior lecturer in Kuchipudi from Telugu University’s Sidhendra Yogi Kuchipudi Kalapeetam.
Being a student of Padma Bhushan Vempati China Satyam, he was the most sought-after teacher at the Kalapeetam.
“I could not, all of a sudden, disconnect my acquaintance with the students and the environment at the stroke of an official order of my retirement. There was no day without a visit to the Kalapeetam or chat with my students,” Mr. Radheshyam said.
Post-retirement, he has drafted an unwritten plan to keep himself available at home to every visitor who knocks on his door with a zeal to nurture the art form.
In the glorious journey spanning four decades, Mr. Radheshyam presented innumerable classical ballet dance programmes, including Bhama Kalapam and Golla Kalapam, at several national and international venues.
Students feel blessed
“We are blessed with the gift in the form of our guru, Mr. Radheshyam, one of the direct students of China Satyam. We cherish the fact that we are being welcomed by him anytime to learn the art even after we passed out from the Kalapeetam,” says his student B. Swarna, who is practicing for her scheduled overseas performance in December.
“I do not regret rejecting many calls to continue in the film industry or to set up an academy anywhere outside my birthplace,” he observes.
Mr. Radheshyam is mostly seen pedalling his old bicycle on the streets of this tiny village.