Andhra Natyam dancer and Guru, Dr. Suvarchala Devi left the dance fraternity anguished with her sudden demise on Wednesday 2 March 2022. It is an irreparable loss especially to Andhra Natyam and Perini Dancers. A Lecturer in the Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Dr. Suvarchala had passed on her art to many young dancers.
SAMPADA in their condolences stated that the passing away of Dr. Suvarchala garu, a scholar par excellence, author, exponent of Andhra Natyam is a huge loss to the Dance fraternity. At a condolence meeting organised at the Telugu University, many dancers and gurus offered their heartfelt tributes to her and recalled her contribution to the dance fraternity. They had said that Dr. Suvarchala Devi was someone who had spent her entire life pursuing Andhra Natyam, working towards recognition by leaving no stone unturned. She had been a mother and teacher to so many of them, and the truth that she was not amidst them was an unfortunate and unbelievable fact.
They also recalled that Dr. Suvarchala Devi had been pivotal in running the Andhra Natyam courses at the universities. All her books and publications on Andhra Natyam and Perini are like beacons of light for all learners. Her effort in protecting the art form and keeping the learnings intact from Late Dr. Natraja Ramakrishna Garu and Late Saride Manikyamma garu were also recalled.
Natyahasini was also fortunate to interact with her. We had asked her to pen a few thoughts about her Guru, Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna garu for Guru Poornima Day in 2021, she had readily agreed to do so. Even though, she was busy with three projects, she took out time and shared her research material and pictures on the Late Master. We at Natyahasini salute her for her dedication. A couple of weeks ago, Natyahasini had interviewed Dr. Suvarchala Devi’s daughter, Satwika Penna.
In that, we had asked her, how it was to be a daughter of well-known dancer. Satwika had said that her mother never urged her to take up dancing. “It was all my passion and respect towards dance. Once when I decided to do it full time, she believed in me, supported me like a pillar. She always inspires me. When it comes to appreciation or reviewing, she pushes me to give my best. We discuss all things dance and more, most of the times I eat her up with all the questions,” she had said. Natyahasini is with her and her family in this hour of grief.