Her Gurus: The Kuchipudi dancer walked into the classroom of her first Guru, Shri Raghavachary garu, who had a pleasant demeanour, was very welcoming, patient and kind. “I will forever be grateful to Sir for teaching me my first Adavu. He was very encouraging, unbiased, giving and taught me as much as I could grasp. Post learning Adavus and Jattis, I moved on to the senior class where I trained under Guru P.B Krishna Bharathi garu who was a disciplinarian and perfectionist, who gave me a number of opportunities to perform solo, group dance presentations and under whose able guidance I performed my Ranga Pravesham at the age of 13. The discipline and training I am able to give my students today is because of the simplest yet vital learning I gained from Guru Krishna Bharathi, which is the importance of sincere and dedicated consistent practice – no matter how many years one has been training for,” she says. In the same breath, she adds that learning Kuchipudi was never a planned decision. “It just happened to me. I believe it was meant to be and I’m very grateful to the Universe to have given me this gift,” she says.
Her association with Dr. Anupama Kylash (Anu Akka) began in 2004, when she got an opportunity to be a part of Akka’s dance production. “I was the youngest dancer (14 years old) amongst a group of much older and senior dancers. What immediately attracted me to Akka’s style of teaching was the importance she gave to the theoretical aspect of dancing. Every concept, movement, lyric, musical aspect, jatti pattern, costumes, lighting, stage management etc., was broken down and explained in a simple and understandable manner which broadened my horizons. Just listening to Akka speak and share was a huge learning experience for me.”
Amy shares that performing with Akka as part of her productions has always been the perfect balance of a lot of learning, introspection, discussions, laughter and food, wherein time flew without knowledge and they would spend hours learning and sharing. “I began understanding Indian Classical Dancing from a very different perspective ever since. From being a part of Akka’s dance productions, to learning and performing solo dance pieces from her, learning nattuvangam and having the privilege to conduct one of Akka’s dance presentations as a nattuvanar, assisting Akka in lecture demonstration, compering a few of her events and to now be able to teach my students Akka’s choreographies and carry forward her methodologies of teaching has been a privilege and blessing,” says the dancer. She also states that it is through Akka that she was lucky to meet and connect with so many senior dancers as well. “I strongly believe that I was placed under Akka’s guidance for all the right reasons and it has been a beautiful journey ever since, where I could just be myself while learning so much.”
Thanks Parents: The Kuchipudi dancer gives credit to her academic achievements to her parents. “Both my mom and dad were academically brilliant all their lives, so I think lucky genes, maybe? I believe the most crucial age for a child’s brain development is from birth to five years of age. While the teaching techniques my mom used really helped me develop an interest in not just learning things the right way but honed my teaching and administrative skills as well, observing my father’s habits – the articles/books he read, the movies/documentaries he watched, the music he listened to, his analytical skills, the effort he took to constantly upgrade his grey matter, influenced me greatly,” she confesses.
Amy reveals that her time management skills and punctuality again developed and remain her biggest strength because of her parents who taught her the value and importance of time from a young age. “24 hours are a long time in one day and so much can be accomplished if one has their goals set straight. Clarity of thought and sticking to the plan is vital. At 31 today, I think I can confidently say I am a perfect blend of them both and I just got really lucky,” she says. She works as a manager for a well-known Pharma company in the city and thoroughly enjoys being part of the corporate world, learning about new techniques and technologies in the field of science, interacting with scientists on a daily basis, understanding the tricks and trades of climbing the corporate ladder and growing as a professional. “I have always enjoyed dancing my way through the field of science,” she says.
Student Ranga Pravesham soon: On the dancing front, she is training her first student to present her Ranga Pravesham which has been delayed for a while due to COVID. “God willing it will go off smoothly towards the end of the year. I am blessed with supportive parents, a loving husband, a beautiful dancing family, aunts, uncles, in-laws, cousins, friends and colleagues who have helped make the journey so far a beautiful learning experience,” Amy says.
Disclosing her future plans, the dancer says it is to continue to balance passion between sciences and dance – bridge the gap between the two, collaborate with artists of various genres and continue on a journey of self- discovery and constant evolution while spreading awareness, joy and tradition to the audiences and her students. “I also intend to work on more projects which bring about a change in the mindset of my audiences which I feel is the need of the hour,” she says. Before signing off Amy says: “While the pandemic has been an eye opener for us all, let us not take for granted what we have been blessed with and do our best to make the world a better place through whatever gifts/talents the universe has blessed us human beings with.”
5 thoughts on “Amy Kumar, dancing away to glory”
God bless u amy in all your endeavours
Thank you very much, Ani Pini.
Amy you are indeed an embodiment of one of the Best Creation made by the Almighty, you will excel in whatever you do because your heart is as pure as the Dance.
Thank you so much, Dr. Pratima for your constant encouragement and being my inspiration in the field of science.
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