Art World Too Undergoing Changes, says Koka Vijayalakshmi

Designs Costumes & Jewellery: The multi-talented Vijayalakshmi, who not only designs costume and jewellery for herself, but also designs costumes for her co-artistes on request. “I started designing parallel to my dancing career. Some of my clients are renowned Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam gurus like Smt. Alekhya Punjala, Smt. Chitra Narayanan, Sri Vedantam Raghava (USA), Smt. Pallavi Kumar (USA), Smt. Madhavi Sudhir (USA), Smt. Vedavalli Challa (Kuwait), Sri Pramod Kumar Reddy, Smt. Yashoda Thakore, Smt. Kranthi Narayan, Smt. Pavani Srilatha, Smt. Rohini Kandala, Sri K.V. Subrahmanyam, Late Smt. Musunoori Indira, and Asmita Resource Centre for Women,” she says. 

An empanelled artiste of Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Doordarshan Graded artiste, Vijayalakshmi states that she started designing jewellery for her dance ballets as they were all periodic. “I am very particular about costumes in my dance ballets. So, I design and use handmade jewellery according to the themes of ancient Telugu history and other dance ballets like “Mahakavi Sri Sri” for Sri Sri’s poems on contemporary and social issues,” shares Vijayalakshmi. The dancer also holds two Guinness Records Certificates for participation in First Kuchipudi Dance Convention in 2008 and Largest Kuchipudi Dance in 2012. 

On involvement in many activities, Vijayalakshmi says: “I believe in the theory of ‘Slow and steady wins the race’. That’s why I am here in this field for 20 years as a professional artist with hard work and determination. I don’t waste even a minute in a day. I allocate hours to all my activities. I don’t rush things,” she says. The artist acknowledges that opportunities come her way. “My themes are different and they are contemporary and very much close to common people,” she says. 

COVID Recovered: Somebody who has not visited a doctor for any sickness for so many years was forced to see one after she tested COVID Positive. “After I tested positive, I was home quarantined for 25 days. I isolated myself in my room and started taking medication. The doctor said that my lungs were 50 percent infected and I should be careful. I need to do breathing exercises and need to check my pulse and oxygen levels,” Vijayalakshmi says. 

She shares that the first rule to overcome COVID is to be brave. “You should not fear. I did my routine exercises and added breathing exercises. I ate protein food and never thought of COVID during this period. Those 15 days, I read books, talked to friends over phone and took complete rest,” she says.  Vijayalakshmi says that due to COVID, she visited a doctor many times, had medicines, blood tests and CT scans. “It was a different experience for me. Now, I have recovered and perfectly fine,” she says. 

Telangana Bharathi

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