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An ode to dance

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BUDDING TALENT Dhenuka and Kirtana during their performance.
BUDDING TALENT Dhenuka and Kirtana during their performance.

GUDIPOODI SRIHARI

The young girls excelled in their performances.

Dhenuka and Kirtana are names of two pretty ten year olds, who proved to be real budding talents in Kuchipudi dance. Disciples of Bhagavatula Sethuram, the two were featured in a show at Ravindra Bharati last week. Sethuram belongs to a well-known family of Kuchipudi maestros. His late father Bhagavatula Ramakotaiah was a renowned personality in this field of ancient dance form. Sethuram is a well-trained nrityacharya, who is now working as assistant professor at Telugu University. Keeping in mind the prodigious talent of the two girls, Sethuram made their repertoire a mix of traditional and modern numbers but creative. The title given to the program was Nrityaarchana. The traditional numbers were selected from a few Yakshaganas. The evening began with a pushpanjali, a floral offering with rhythmic movements, to the goddesses, musicians and the audience. Then there was invocation to Lord Vinayaka, composed by Shahaji. The two girls impressed with their abhinaya that depicted a cheerful Vinayaka. Dhenuka and Kirtana then presented abhinaya to a popular Ramadas kirtana Takkuvemi Manaku. The beauty of the presentation is the way Sethuram incorporated the presentation of Dasavataras. Then it was time for a traditional tarangam, Aalokaye, presented pleasingly. Sivaleela was the next episode that narrated the story of Markandeya, which was well choreographed The scene presented showed how Lord Siva saved the boy, granted him a long life and humbled Yama. The two girls presented the drama well and changed into different characters of the episode.

Out of the way

Another pair of girls, Lata Prasad and Aparna, presented Ramayana Sabdam that came next. The Sabdam incorporates main episodes of Ramayana from Rama's birth to his coronation. Then there was an experimental presentation of the popular Pushpa Vilapam of Jandhyala Papaiah Sastry , which was rendered by Ghantasala in Kuchipudi format. Similarly, another `out-of-the-way' number was the dance on an Annamacharya kirtana Brahma Mokkate. Guru Bhagavatula Sethuram conducted the show with apt nattuvangam, while Kannarao and Sarada Reddy's lent vocal support. Nageswar Rao, on mridangam, Dattatreya on flute, Subbalakshmi on violin and Sridharacharya on rhythmic effects provided orchestral strength. It is time for the present day gurus to prepare sets of repertoires for solo dances, like the greatest of Kuchipudi gurus Vedantam Lakshminarayana Sastry did.

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