A scintillating Kuchipudi performance
- Sudha Sridhar
e-mail: sudhasridhar@hotmail.com

August 6, 2013

Deepa Sashindran gave a scintillating Kuchipudi performance in the recently conducted Shantala Dance Festival in Bangalore on 26th July 2013. The evening saw the audience captivated as they relished the majestic, authentic, rich presentation of legendary Vempati Chinna Satyam’s choreographies. Deepa, who has been dancing from the age of eight, needs no introduction what with being the first disciple of Guru Manju Bhargavee and one of the talented dancers of this generation. She is also passionately involved in safeguarding the authenticity of the dance form. After a long gap she has recently returned to performance thanks to the encouragement of her guru, clearly indicating that art follows earnest artistes to fulfill its purpose.

The tone for the evening was set with Dr. M Balamuralikrishna’s composition “Jeyam Jeyam,” a fast rhythmic item in praise of Lord Ganesha in Ragamalika set to adi tala. The remaining part of the evening program saw the dancer skillfully extol Lord Krishna through various compositions, starting with that of Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyer’s composition “Brindavana Nilaye” set to Reethigowla raga and adi tala. The hallmark of an artist is to be able to portray the character in such a way that the audience sees the character first and then the artist on stage. The performance of the evening had that stamp written all over.

This was followed by a Kshetrayya padam “Indendu Vachithivira” set to Suruti ragam and misrachapu tala displaying dignified abhinaya, good command of technique and vachika abhinaya, an essential aspect of Kuchipudi, keeping the channel of communication with the audience open to easily create the appropriate rasa and bhava even though the song was through recorded media. The befitting finale “Balagopala Tarangam” set to Ragamalika and adi tala saw the audience applaud the jathis enthusiastically drowning even the strong vocals of DSV Sastry.

The much acknowledged distinctive choreography style of Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam was brought out excellently to warm the hearts of the audience. Though the guru is no more with us, his compositions are his legacy. It is heartening to note that his disciples continue giving meaning and fulfillment to his dedication and contribution bequeathed to the present and future generation.