Mega Kuchipudi Festival (Akhila Karnataka Kuchipudi Nruthyotsav) at Mysuru city on Saturday, the 3rd of March, showcased renowned artistes at KSGH Music and Performing Arts University (morning sessions) and Jaganmohan Palace (evening sessions), which was the 10th edition by Natyasaraswathi, Bengaluru.
Festival opened with a shraddanjali to late Guru Dr. Vempati Ravishankar with educative interesting talks and demonstrations by legendary Gurus Vedantam Ramu hailing from Kalakshetra Kuchipudi, Chennai, about Tala, laya technique of Kuchipudi dance. He was supported by dancer Amarnath Ghosh.
Dr. Vasanth Kiran of REVA University, Bengaluru, spoke about late Dr. Vempati Ravi’s dedication and his extensive works on Kuchipudi music and dance choreography and innovation, with his students Rachana and Ashwini.
The later part was taken over by explanation on Transition of Kuchipudi by disciple of Sudha Sreedhar followed by detailed interactive demo by Guru Pasumarthy Keshava Prasad from Kuchipudi village about ‘Evolution of Kuchipudi Bhagavatars from Yakshagana to solo tradition.’ Excerpts of Bhamakalaapam were performed by Guru himself and Shri Acharya as part of the demo.
Music University Vice-Chancellor Dr. Savamangala Shankar and Dr. Vasundhara Doraswamy of Mysuru inaugurated the morning session which was attended by the students of Departments of Music, Dance and Drama, along with artistes from outside Mysuru.
Corporator Prashanth Gowda inaugurated the evening session along with invited Gurus.
Series of artistes from different parts of nation, including disciples of Dr. Saraswathi Rajathesh, Dr. Veena Murthy Vijay, Shiva Prasad, Dr. Vasant Kiran, Dharani Kashyap, Sudha Shridhar, Veena Samaga, Karpagam and so on, presented a tribute to Kuchipudi with their performances.
Poorvarangam, a major invocation of Kuchipudi repertoire, where cleansing of stage with sacred water and offering worship to deities ruling Rangamandapa (stage) was followed by Ganesha Stuthi performed by Natyasaraswathi students.
Kavya Kala from Andhra Pradesh rendered a Annamacharya kruti, Nithya from Bengaluru presented Dashavatara Shabdam, Karpagam and her student performed for Mysore Vasudevacharya’s Keerthana, students of Dr. Veena Murthy Vijay presented Sandhya tandavam, Deepa Narayan with Draupadi Pravesha a special composition by Dr. Ravi, Dr. Shivaprasad students with Tarangam, Amarnath from Chennai performed Ashtapadi abhinaya, Ganesha Keerthana by student of Veena Samaga, Shiva Tarangam by students of Dr. Vasant, Ananda Tandavam by students of Natyasaraswathi and finale with Kuchipudi-Manipuri fusion by Angabala and Uma Pranesh.
‘Kuchipudi Natyasaraswathi Puraskar-2018’ was conferred on Guru Pasumarthy Keshava Prasad of Kuchipudi village and Guru Veena Samaga of Udupi; ‘Kuchipudi Karnataka Madhavi Puraskar’ to Siddalingappa Acharya. Gurus, veterans and elders appreciated Dr. Saraswathi Rajathesh’s (Festival Director, who is a dentist by profession and has a Ph.D in Dance) contributions to bring Kuchipudi Festival to Mysuru.
The programme was compered by Bhuvana, a dance teacher from Mysuru. Along with Natyasaraswathi, the event was supported and co-sponsored by Dept. of Kannada Culture, Dept. of Telugu Language and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Telugu Samskruthika Samithi and Music University, Mysuru.