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Telugu pride to the fore

Ranee Kumar
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Play ‘Telugu Prashasthi’ showcased the uniqueness of Telugu people, land and culture. Ranee Kumar

Regional glory Koka vijayalakshmi and group perform.
Regional glory Koka vijayalakshmi and group perform.

Telugu Prashasthi, a dance-drama set to Kuchipudi, has now gathered popularity going by the number of presentations made across the state. More than the dance element or even music, it is the theme, the language and lyrical content that is of high value. It is a well-researched subject with a focus and objective to underscore the antiquity of Telugu as a language, its vast spread across the regions of southern India and its lofty status in literature.

It also served to highlight the unity of Telugu culture within the three regions of the state, a tenable issue these days. This dance drama is a means to reach out to the commoner and connoisseur through an attractive artistic medium. ‘Telugu Prashasthi’ is an infotainment, and therefore appealed to all sections of viewers, going by the capacity crowd at the Shilparamam amphitheatre.

The theme gets its introduction through a group of five dancers who extol the ‘ Telugu bhasha velugu charita… ’ and goes on to depict the earliest inscriptions in Brahmi writing. A digital display screen in the backdrop serves to reiterate the statements made through song and action. The male dancers Surendranath and G.Ravi stole the show, role and dance limitations notwithstanding.

The element of dance that went into the ballet was negligible but history was unfolded in the most beautiful song-verse by CVS Sastri (pre-recorded). Of special mention was Venkat’s expressive entry and abhinaya in the roles of Kaivaram and the Buddha bikshu, not to talk of Nannayya. The Kaivaram portrayal though brief has a telling effect. Koka Vijayalakshmi, the lead dancer’s histrionics came to the fore in her cradling the child where she ably depicted maternal love with natural grace.

Kaza Venkatasubramaniam as Bheemudu executed his character with aplomb. The other female dancers need to work a lot on their footwork and body kinetics if they wish to take their art forward. Conceptualised by veteran journalist ABK Prasad, the dance ballet proved to be an effective vehicle to convey the oneness of Telugu people, language and culture.

Koka Vijayalakshmi, the lead dancer’s histrionics came to the fore in her cradling the child where she ably depicted maternal love with natural grace.


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