Kuchipudi and Vilasini Natyam dancer, Dr. Anupama Kylash during the pandemic has been holding many knowledge sessions for the dance fraternity. Among the recent sessions, she has held include the Concept of Bhakti, Decoding Rasa, God Intoxicated and also an initiative of Bharatanatyam dancer Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant’s year-long Tamprapatra sessions started in July this year. Dancers across the globe wait for these sessions with bated breath. Speaking to Natyahasini, Dr. Anupama Kylash states that Natyarambha’s year-long Tamprapatra session is a unique event. “It has always been my aim to explore the songs of Annamacharya just like Padams of Kshetraya and Sarangapani. In the Kuchipudi format, Annamacharya songs are used as keertanas. There is tremendous scope for Abhinaya and I wanted to explore that,” she says.
Dr. Anupama says that every month, a dancer under the Tamprapatra series, explores and interprets Annamacharya songs as they visualise it. “My aim is that the essence of Annamacharya songs should be explored. Annamacharya was more than a writer. He was a philosopher and had his own system of philosophy. The Tamrapatra sessions are addressing the essence of Annamacharya and expressing this and delineating the meanings of Tattava behind the Annamachraya keetranas. The scope is endless. I feel great to handle the Tamprapatra sessions,” expresses the dancer.
She states that the upcoming Tāmrapatra Session 4 to be held on October 9 & 10, 2021, will feature Mohiniyattam dancer Dasyam Gopika Varma. “The song chosen for this session is ‘Ati Shobhiteyam Radha’, a brilliant composition delineating everything about the Radha Tattva in the most eloquent and encoded phrases! There are very few songs of Annamacharya, in fact, hardly a couple or so, where he refers to Radha individually or in consonance with Krishna,” she says. Under the Tamprapatra sessions, till date sessions have been held by Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant, Dr. Anupama Kylash and Rama Vaidyanathan. Those who will feature include Gopika Varma, Dr. Anita Ratnam, Dr. Alekhya Punjala, Geeta Chandran, Dr. Methil Devika, Sharmila Biswas, Deepika Reddy, Bragha Bassel and Vaibhav Arekar.
The Kuchipudi dancer says that teaching and learning in many online sessions has been tremendous. “The online medium power is great. The concept of learning and exchanging views online is tremendous. Though I am not a fan of online performance, it is a different ball game, but holding workshops online is sharing knowledge and anybody from anywhere across the world can join the online workshops. The exchange has been rich. At the online workshops, the essence of Shringara and Bhakti have been explored through lot of texts,” she states.
Anupama doesn’t reveal what more exciting things she has in her bag that she will share. “Well, my bag gets filled whenever there is a need. The concept of new workshop comes up based on discussions held in previous workshops. As I have love for poetry, and Bhakti – the different schools of Bhakti from Dwaita, Adwaita, Krishna and so many others, there is always something new and exciting to be explored.” However, the dancer reveals that very soon, she will be holding a five-day workshop on ‘Gita Govinda’ online. “There is so much of literature and texts and tradition in our knowledge system waiting to be explored. I reinvent myself as I don’t want to do the same thing,” says the Vilasini Natyam exponent.
The dancer says, she has been a Hyderabadi for the past five decades. “The city’s cultural scene has been changing, but not changing rapidly, where people like to do things leisurely. Since the last five years, there has been cultural buoyancy and it has been great for artists. Earlier, people were working in their comfort zones.” Anupama has been conducting events in Hyderabad for the last 10 years. According to her a cross-section of people attend events. “We still need to become more culturally aware,” she says.
Before the pandemic stuck, Dr. Anupama Kylash would host unique events. Among the prominent ones were Thinking Cap Series and the Ramachar Memorial Concert. “Thinking Cap Series is my favourite and brain child. At one time, the thought of holding Thinking Cap Series online crossed my mind. It is primarily knowledge-based and could have gone online,” she says. But adds that she is not in favour of taking Ramachar Memorial Concert online. “As Ramachar Memorial Concert is primarily to connect with people and invite artists to perform to experience the live performances. Probably, the Ramachar Memorial Concert will be held by the end of next year or whenever the situation improves,” the Kuchipudi danseuse says.
During the pandemic, the Kuchipudi and Vilasini Natyam specialist has enriched her students by teaching them Padams, Annamacharya keertanas and discussing relevant scriptures. “This whole pandemic has taught us to cope and make the best use of what is given to us. Knowledge sharing is better. Online helps in staying connected. Every day we can’t go to a place take or attend classes, but knowledge sessions can be held online. The online structure is here to stay for dissemination of information,” she says.
Those interested in the Tamrapatra session must register on the link below: https://tamrapatra.mystrikingly.com