Ira Space for Performing Arts gives a fillip to cultural activities in Hyderabad

One can learn, rehearse, teach, perform and organise photo and video shoots at this new inclusive space launched by Kuchipudi dancer Sravya Manasa in Hyderabad

Updated - May 09, 2024 12:03 pm IST

Published - May 09, 2024 12:01 pm IST

Sravya Manasa (wearing white half-sari) and a team of dancers during a session

Sravya Manasa (wearing white half-sari) and a team of dancers during a session | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Kuchipudi dancer Sravya Manasa steps into the newly-launched Ira Space for Performing Arts with elan. Her 15 years of hard work has paid off. “I realised a dream of mine ; it is a proud moment to have your own space,” she exults.

Creative hub

Sumadhura dance academy

Sumadhura dance academy | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Located amid a row of residential complexes on the busy Motinagar road in Hyderabad, Ira is an artistic space, a hub open for different creative art forms such as music, theatre, dance, mime, kalari, and storytelling. One can learn, rehearse, teach, share, perform, hold workshops and even organise photo and video shoots here.

Sravya had decided on the name Ira even before she looked for a space. “I had a name ready,” she smiles sitting in the director’s room. In this choreographer’s space for meetings and discussions., the wall has 12 canvases of celebrities — including those of Prabhu Deva and Shah Rukh Khan — who have inspired her.

Performing arts

During a sessiom

During a sessiom | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Hailing from a middle-class family in arts (her father is an actor and her mother, a dancer), Sravya recalls her parents’ struggle to provide an artistic platform for their children. When Nritya Performing Arts in Banjara Hills, one of her favourite performing spaces, shut down during the lockdown, she yearned to create an intimate space. “I also had this dream of learning many things. Ira comes with the selfish thought that if different performing arts are happening in my own space, maybe I can learn one at a time. When I invest in such a commercial place, I can’t run it only through my Kuchipudi classes.”

Dance performance

Dance performance | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Ira means ‘movement’ in Greek, and in Sanskrit, it is one of the names of Goddess Saraswati and also of Vayu, the wind God. The two-floored studio is for modern and classical arts. The first floor beckons lovers of contemporary arts: Bollywood cinematic dance, ballet and hip hop with classes and workshops. Events or intimate theatre performances can be held at this 1,150 square feet space equipped with spotlights, props and green rooms.

Cosy setup

During an event

During an event | Photo Credit: special arrangement

This setup with a black background transforms into a performing stage that can seat around 60 people on the floor. A concrete seating arrangement with cushions adds comfort while also providing a view from the top.

Home for Kuchipudi

View of the performing space

View of the performing space | Photo Credit: special arrangement

The second floor is home to her Kuchipudi dance classes, Sumadhura Dance Academy, and other traditional arts. On a vibrant yellow wall with the backdrop of Krishna with nayikas, the 1,180 square feet hall with ample natural light can seat around 100 people. While students of different ages learn Kuchipudi regularly, the space hosts events such as a violin recital by Aarabhi School of Violin and a Telugu stand-up comedy by senior Doordarshan artiste SV Chalapathi. “The backdrop is ideal for solo or small group performances with a limited audience,” says Sravya adding that the space will also be given free for artists to rehearse, provided they apply with their profiles.

Inclusive space

Sravya Manasa

Sravya Manasa | Photo Credit: special arrangement

The artistic space is inclusive and open to the LQBTQ+ community. “I wanted to be open about this stand so that people are comfortable about coming to my studio.”

As she plays with her seven-month-old son, Saarthak Krish, she looks around the space and says, “I used to run Sumadhura at home, my friends’ studios and community halls. My heart fills with pride as this is my own space.”

Sravya hopes to open new branches at Manikonda in Hyderabad and one in Visakhapatnam.

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