An experience that never was!
California's Kuchipudi Convention!
by Ramaa Bharadvaj, California
|Dear Ms. Bharadvaj
I read your brilliant article on narthaki.com regarding the Kuchipudi convention in Cupertino, and wanted to thank you for finally putting in writing what a number of us were feeling that weekend.
I attended the convention with the hopes of improving my academic knowledge of the art form. I did not fly from New York to the Bay area for lofty speeches, nor to witness a world record. My interest came about as I had learnt the art form as a child through my teenage years. I'm currently finishing my doctorate in performance studies, and have become increasingly interested in the theory, history and practice of Kuchipudi. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I gained more knowledge by placing myself in earshot of people such as Sunil Kothari, Anuradha Jonnalagadda and great senior artistes, than the entire time I was sat in the auditorium hearing about the achievements of Silicon Andhra.
Your article spoke many truths about the convention, and I hope the organizers would take note of some of the valid points you raise. Do you know if they have seen a copy of the article?
Perhaps the Dance Festival of India in NYC this Fall may open the doors to us "youngsters" who have the hunger to learn, but the ability to get access to this wealth of knowledge in India seems otherwise difficult.
(July 15, 2008)