Chaithanya Kusuma Priya Arni, who very recently performed her Nattuvangam Arangetram under Guru Kalaimani RLV Hemanth Lakshman, Kerala, is all set for another BIG Day in her life. This time, two of her senior disciples, Priyanka and Pruthvi, daughters of Latha Rani and Ram Mohan Kasula, will be performing their Arangetram at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Basheerbagh, King Koti Road, Hyderabad, on 22nd January, 2023 at 5.30pm.
Speaking exclusively to Natyahasini, Bharatanatyam dancer and founder of Nada Mudra School of Dance, Chaithanya Kusuma Priya Arni, says that she has been waiting for this day for some time. “As the students were in the US and there were some travel restrictions they could not travel earlier. Now that they are here and they will be making their stage debut, I am happy for them and myself as they will be the first students from my dance school to perform their arangetram,” she says.
A student can perform an arangetram only after the teacher knows that her student is ready for the big solo debut and when Chaithanya had a word with Priyanka first, who also expressed her readiness and desire. Then, Chaithanya asked Pruthvi, who took time to decide, but later sealed the approval. “Now both Kasula sisters – Priyanka and Pruthvi will be performing their arangetram and for me and my school it’s duet arangetram,” says the founder of Nada Mudra School of Dance.
Speaking about her students, Priyanka and Pruthvi, Chaithanya says that they initially started learning dance under Guru Prakhya Jayashri during their school days. “After a short break, the Kasula sisters resumed learning Bharatanatyam under me. While Priyanka became my first student when she started learning under me in 2014, and Pruthvi began learning in 2018,” she says.
The Guru in Chaithanya could see the spark and passion to learn and perform in Priyanka soon. A B. Tech graduate, Priyanka, completed her certificate course in Bharatanatyam from Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University in 2018 with distinction before moving to Georgia, US, after her marriage to Jagannath Kadavendi. “Even after moving to the US, Priyanka continued her training via online classes,” Chaithanya says and quickly adds: “Priyanka played lead role in Bharatanatyam dance production ‘Drishti’, a fund raiser event for Sankara Nethralaya conceptualized and choreographed by Guru Padmaja Kelam, founder of Kalaivani Dance Academy, Atlanta, US”. Chaithanya further adds that despite heavy work schedule as a software engineer and embracing motherhood, Priyanka is pursuing her passion with great zeal and commitment.
On the other hand, Pruthvi, who moved to the US to pursue Masters in Computer Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, will be literally taking the stage for the first time. “When Pruthvi gets on the stage for her Arangetram that would be her first stage performance too,” Chaithanya says, and adds: “Pruthvi is ready for her Arangetram”. On the practice about her students for the big event, Chaithanya says that there have been a series of practices online, but since the students have been in Hyderabad since the last week of December 2022, a one-on-one practice has been on regularly. “Prior to the big day, there will be a full-fledged practice with the orchestra,” she says.
The Nada Mudra School of Dance founder reveals that the Kasula sisters will be performing six pieces. Giving details, Chaithanya says, it will begin with Alarippu – Sri Vigna Rajambhaje followed by Dharu Varnam. “Then it will be Padam – Indendu vachitivira, followed by Javali, Keertanam and end it with Tillana in Māndu Rāgam,” says the guru.
As Chaithanya will be playing the Nattuvangam, V. Muralisangeeth will be on the Vocals, Vidwan K. Uma Venkateshwarulu on Flute, Vidwan Rayaprolu Sudhakar on Veena, and M. Chandrakanth on Mrdangam will comprise of the music brundam.
The distinguished guests for the evening include Pavitra Krishna Bhat, Founder, Pavitra Arts Visual Institute, Mumbai; Arusam Madhusudan, Mime Artiste and Actor; Swathi Mahalakshmi Kukrety, Director, Prachya Bharati Centre for Performing Arts; and Kalaimani RLV Hemanth Lakshman, Director, Sankara Sree Giri Dance & Nattuvangam Academy.