Back To Basics With Guru Seetha Nagajothy

What brings Seetha Nagajothy to Hyderabad? A popular student of Padma Vibhushan late Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam garu, Seetha Nagajothy after mastering the skills of Kuchipudi moved to the country’s capital, Delhi, after marriage to fellow dancer, P Nagajothy. Keeping the Kuchipudi flag flying high, in Delhi, Seetha Nagajothy, is here in the Pearl City, to conduct a five-day basic Kuchipudi workshop, in association with Kuchipudi and Vilasini Natyam dancer, Dr. Yashoda Thakore. 

Speaking exclusively to Natyahasini, Kuchipudi exponent, Seetha Nagajothy, shares that for the past six months, they have been working on visiting the fundamentals and early choreographies of Master Garu, Late Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam. “The subtleties of Kuchipudi is enjoyed only when the basics are clear and very well-rehearsed,” she says.

Seetha Nagajothy with students

Praise For Gen Y: Seetha Nagajothy admits that she tested the waters with the choreographies during her disciple, 17-year-old L. Shruti’s Rangapravesham at Delhi’s Chinmaya Mission in December 2023. “All the rudimentaries as well as advanced choreographies of both Master Garu and mine were performed. I believe this generation is very aware of what they get into for learning for a long time period. So, it was important for me to make her express her journey as a Kuchipudi artist,” says the Delhi-based dancer. 

Master Garu’s Shishya states that such an exercise builds trust and insight into minds of Shishya as well as Guru and a bond between the two strengthens. “Long hours of practice, including even longer hours spent on writing a five-minute speech capturing this journey was something that brought us together. I shall continue this with other disciples too,” the dance Guru says.

With a co-actor in the CREDA Advt.

Five-Day Workshop: On her visit to Hyderabad, Seetha Nagajothy says: “We are conducting a five-day Kuchipudi Workshop, Back to Basics, focusing on working intensely on the fundamentals of Vempati Master Garu’s style along with the knowledge and experience through inputs I have gathered over the last 50 years of teaching,” she mentions. Giving more insight to the workshop, the Guru says: “Starting from the 1st half Steps, 2nd half Steps, 1st half Jathis and 2nd half Jathis all in Vempati design learnt during 1960s. It will advance to items like Swarajathi and other items depending on the students’ learnings within the duration of the workshop.”

The Kuchipudi dancer says that the workshop will be conducted in association with Dr. Yashoda Thakore and her dancing school Rinda Saranya at their premises. “Her students will be participating in the workshop as well and a programme will be staged at Shilparamam Madhapur on June 16,” she says.

Part Of Rajamouli Advt.: All those who watched the IPL this year must have seen the David Warner and SS Rajamouli CREDA advertisement. But did anyone notice, the dancing Kuchipudi couple – Seetha & P Nagajoythi. The Vempati Chinna Satyam’s student mentions that one day they received a call from an ad agency, who heard that there was a Kuchipudi Guru who fits into the requirements. “They asked if both of us were interested and we accepted,” she says. Apart from Bharatanatyam Gurus, the Dhananjayans from Chennai, who featured in the Vodafone advertisement in 2017, the Kuchipudi couple from Delhi feature in the recently released CREDA advertisement.

Seetha with her granddaughter Anika Krishna

When asked about working with Bahubaali Director, SS Rajamouli, Seetha mentions that Rajamouli is extremely good at his craft and a very warm person. “Australian cricketer David Warner and others who acted were also very welcoming on the set. They all made me feel very comfortable during the shoot, which was in Delhi. And my shot was finalised in two takes. Rajamouli is also very jovial, and I enjoyed every bit of it,” she says.

Grandma’s Favourite: How is it like doting on her granddaughter, Anika Krishna, daughter of Abhinaya Nagajothy, Seetha shares: “As a new grandmother, I have been happily on my toes loving this new kid in the house. It hardly leaves me with anytime but my granddaughter loves to sit, play and dance during dance classes. It seems that tradition will continue through her. So, I have been enjoying this period.” Recently, another celebration time was when one of her students, Dr. Harsha Bhargavi, authored and launched her book Artonomics by IGNCA. 

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