Andhra Pradesh

Prof’s last wish brings true Kuchipudi gurus’ dream

ABKNKM secretary P. Kesava Prasad at Prof. Modali Nagabhushana Sarma Kuchipudi Art Research Institute at Kuchipudi village.

ABKNKM secretary P. Kesava Prasad at Prof. Modali Nagabhushana Sarma Kuchipudi Art Research Institute at Kuchipudi village.  

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Research institute on dance form comes up at village

A tiny shed between the house of Padma Bhushan awardee Vempati China Satyam and Balatripura Sundari temple at Kuchipudi village has acquired a unique identity, it is now the home for a research institute on the Indian classical dances in Andhra Pradesh.

Having a dedicated research institute on the Kuchipudi dance form had remained a dream for many yesteryear gurus of this village and, even China Satyam had this wish since the early 1980s, during the establishment of the Akhila Bharata Kuchipudi Natya Kala Mandali (ABKNKM) here. And what helped that dream come true now was a last wish of 84-year-old former professor of the University of Hyderabad Modali Nagabhushana Sarma.

Prof. Sarma, an authority on Kuchipudi dance and puppetry, writer, critic and theatre person passed away in January, 2019.

“Prof. Sarma had left behind a note asking his family to hand over his entire personal library to the universities (Krishna University or UoH). His family has given it to me, to shift it to my village Kuchipudi,” ABKNKM secretary Pasumarthi Kesava Prasad tells The Hindu.

“Prof. Sarma’s wish reminded me of a research institute here to fulfil the dream of Guru China Satyam and that’s how it has come into existence and named Prof. Modali Nagabhushana Sarma Kuchipudi Art Research Institute,” explains Mr. Prasad.

Prized possessions

The institute has the entire collection Prof. Sarma comprising nearly 400 books on various Indian classical dances, periodicals, academic textbooks on Kuchipudi, literature on folk dances and arts of Andhra Pradesh, his handwritten notes, audio, videos and rare photographs of Kuchipudi gurus. Among its prized possessions is a gold-plated revenue document (dated August, 1763) of Kuchipudi village, a palm-leaf collection believed to be the text of Bhamakalapam, and audio-visual archives of performances of many gurus of all Indian classical dances in Kuchipudi village since the 1980s.

“Prof. Sarma’s family has offered us everything, including his personal computer and other equipment. Thousands of photographs collected by him will soon be brought to the institute from his house in Guntur district. The number of collections in the institute is not what matters for us but it’s his will that has given shape to a long-cherished dream,” says Mr. Prasad.

Those who want to donate any dance literature to the research institute could contact Mr. Kesava Prasad on mobile 9949618846.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 3:46:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/profs-last-wish-brings-true-kuchipudi-gurus-dream/article30002020.ece

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