Bharatanatyam dancer and founder of Naad Mudra School of Dance & Music, Chaithanya Kusuma Priya and Perini dancer, Perini Rajkumar Dharavath are doing the City of Pearls proud. After receiving the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for the year 2020 recently in New Delhi, and being appreciated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Man Ki Baat on the last Sunday of February, Perini Rajkumar will be performing in the Hindi heartland Varanasi and seat of Lord Har Har Mahadev with live orchestra on Friday 3 March, while Chaithanya will be performing at the National Bharatanatyam Festival in the land of Ram in Ayodhya on Saturday March 4.
Speaking to Natyahasini, Perini Rajkumar said that he was very happy when he heard the Prime Minister take his name in his monthly Man ki Baat. “I was over the moon and elated. There are no words to explain it. All this has been possible, thanks to my Gurus, elders’ blessings, Our CM sir, Dr. Mammidi Harikrishna garu and Telangana Sangeet Natak Akademi chairperson Deepika Reddy garu,” he said. Rajkumar further adds that he is happy at the recognition that Perini has got at the National level after being bestowed with the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar in February this year. He stated that he would be performing in Varanasi as part of the celebration of Amrit Yuva Kalotsav, in the event hosted by Sangeet Natak Akademi, featuring the recipients of the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2020.
Before heading to perform in Ayodhya, Chaithanya speaking to Natyahasini said that it was for the first time that she would be performing in the North. “I am really blessed to be performing in Ayodhya, it’s a God sent opportunity for me,” she said. The Bharatanatyam dancer recalled that Bengaluru-based dancer and founder of Aatmalaya Academy Padmaja Suresh, who also heads the Bharatanatyam dance department at Silicon Valley of Andhra, California had asked her to present a traditional Bani for lectures. “I had presented a 26-minute Varnam on Lord Vishnu on a composition of Ootokar Dandapani Pillai, which was well appreciated and paved the way for the event in Ayodhya,” she said.
For the event in Ayodhya, Chaithanya said that they were asked to present items related to Lord Ram and only to compositions in Sanskrit and Hindi, which the locals could relate to easily. “For the Ayodhya event, my first presentation is Kalyana Rama Kriti, a composition of Oothukaadu Venkata Subbayyar in Hamsanaadam Ragam and Adi Talam. In this, I will depict from Lord Ram’s wedding to Pattabhishekam. My second item will be ‘Nrtyati Nrtyati Shambha Sivom’, a composition of Maharaja Swati Tirunal, in Sankarabharanam Ragam and Adi Talam. I am also excited and eager to perform in Ayodhya,” she said.
Also, Chaithanya shares that for the Ayodhya event, a total of five teams and 15 people are performing. “I am performing solo and the others include Dr. Padmaja Suresh and disciples from Bengaluru, Trayi: Sujata Ramanathan from Mumbai, Ragini Iyer and Rakshita Ranganathan from Bengaluru, Urvashi Jaitley from Prayagraj and Gyanendra Dutt Bajpai and his disciples from Lucknow. The artists had practice sessions for the event on Zoom,” the dancer said.
Sharing details about the National Bharatanatyam Utsav, Chaithanya said that the event has been organised by Aatmalaya Academy Bangalore in collaboration with Union Ministry of Culture, Ayodhya Jilla & IECSME on Saturday 4 March 2023 at Ram ki Paidi (near Saryu Ghat) Ayodhya from 6.30pm to 9 pm. Distinguished guests include Gaurav Dayal IAS, Divisional Commissioner, Ayodhya and Nitish Kumar, IAS, District Magistrate, Ayodhya.