Andhra Pradesh

Unveiling the inner potential

Sowmya Bhagavathula  

“For me, dance is a form of expression that instils self-confidence and self-belief. As I navigate through the sound of my anklet bells, something magical happens and I find an inner voice that is truly me,” says Kuchipudi dancer Sowmya Bhagavathula.

Ms. Sowmya also trains children in this traditional dance form. “Whether I dance in a group or alone, there is a sense of exuberance and celebration,” she says, explaining why she could never think of any other career, as she is equipped with a degree in Business Management and a Masters in English.

“I have been dancing since I was five. Kuchipudi is in my DNA,” she smiles, explaining how she grew up in this art form with ease and her whole life now revolves around this dance form.

Born to Kuchipudi natyacharya Bhagavathula Venkatarama Sarma and Srivalli, who hail from the traditional Kuchipudi village in Krishna district, Ms. Sowmya took to stage performances quite early in life and won accolades from all quarters.

Award

Ms. Sowmya was recently presented with Kuchipudi Kala Shobasree award at a function in Hyderabad, adding another feather to her cap. Awards and titles galore for this Kuchipudi exponent, who has been trying to groom children of the current generation in this dance form, which has a rich history of evolution, transformation and preservation.

“There is a void which needs to be filled up to appreciate, imbibe, practise and propagate the nuances of this art in totality,” she emphasises.

She teaches Kuchipudi in Ghantasala Music College and also helps her father by chipping in during his absence in the many dance schools he trains children. New composition of ballets is one of the focus areas.

She has donned different mythological roles on stage and has excelled in them. “The role of Krishna in the ballet Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Goddess Durga in Mahishasura Mardini are my favourites,” she informs, recalling that she had taken people by surprise when she played the role of Krishna for the first time on stage and people, who had a doubt if she could pull it off, came to her and appreciated her performance after the show. “We even bagged the first prize in the contest,” she recounts.

Amidst a packed schedule of taking care of home, a 10-year-old son, dance classes and stage performances, Ms. Sowmya has also made brief appearances in a few Telugu films like Colour Photo, Balakrishna-starrer Kadhanayakudu and Om Namo Venkateshaya. “All of them are dance-related scenes,” she says.

Lockdown

Technology enables Ms. Sowmya to reach out to children abroad, who learn Kuchipudi in virtual mode. Dance did not stop for her even during the lockdown when she used platforms like Zoom, Skype or even WhatsApp to continue teaching. “It worked really well because dance lifts the spirits and it helped people a great deal in keeping their sanity intact in this difficult phase,” she says, adding that she would do anything to keep this rich guru-shishya parampara alive.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 8:03:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/unveiling-the-inner-potential/article33992812.ece

Next Story