Jamma Gowni Pyatla Kanishka, senior student of Kandula Kuchipudi Natyalayam and Kuchipudi dancer, Kalanipuna G Ravi, speaking exclusively to Natyahasini shares that India is an ocean of culture and home to many dance forms, but the Kuchipudi dance form is a very special art. “The thing which makes it different from other dance forms is its ‘Abhinaya’. It was my grandmother Smt. Vijayalaxmi garu who enrolled me in the dance class in 2014 and I am thankful to her,” she says.
The Class XII student of St. Ann’s High School, BHEL, is also interested in other dance forms like Kathak. Coming back to her first love, Kuchipudi, Kanishka admits that in the art form, she loves the Bhama Kalapam. “The Bhama Kalapam is known as the crown piece of Kuchipudi and it is my favourite composition because of the beauty in the song. The song explains various sides of Satyabhama. I personally love to get ready put on the jewellery as her,” says the teenager. Also, she confesses that her grandfather CH Laxman garu and parents JP Durga Prasad and Pallavi have whole-heartedly supported her in all her endeavours. “They are my backbone and a rock support,” says the teenager.
Sharing her learning curve with her Guru G Ravi garu, she says that it is a blessing to be his student. “He is a great teacher. It is always very inspiring to see the love he shows for the art. As a student there is a lot to learn from my guru. And I definitely will,” she says proudly. The young Kuchipudi artist states that being a senior student, they do take classes for juniors sometimes. “It’s like a practice for us and in teaching juniors helps us to learn to be a teacher in the future,” she says.
Annual Ballet: Kanishka shares that under the guidance of their Guru Ravi garu, every year they perform a dance ballet on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami. “For the Vijayadashami programme, all students of Kandula Kuchipudi Natyalayam come together to participate in the programme. Senior and junior students take part in the beautiful composition of our guru, which is one big and wonderful ballet,” says the youngster.
Performing live on stage, Kanishka says: “The moment you get on the stage, you actually are disconnected with the external factors, the things that are alive are you, the music and your dance and that’s what keeps up your energy, stepping on to the stage automatically gives you that mood and energy that is needed for the dance piece and the audience, they add a lot to it.” Coming to a group performance, the senior disciple says it is team work on the stage. “Presenting the item to its best is the top priority for any dancer who takes the stage. As an audience, it is always really nice to watch group performance on the stage seeing all those hands moving together and all their ghungroos making a sound at the same time,” she says.
Studying For Diploma: The Class XII student apart from her academics, has completed Certificate course in Kuchipudi and is preparing for the Diploma exam now. “I have received many certificates namely from the Bala Kala Utsav, the All-India social distancing online national solo dance contest, from the Indo Crypt Department of Hyderabad, and Certificate by Natya Bharatheeyam,” says the teenager.
Kanishka mentions that our country is very rich in Culture Heritage, and there is much to learn from them and Classical dance being a part of it is a very beautiful side. “I will always be thankful to God for giving me this talent to dance,” she says. The artist mentions that the last two years have been very tough due to COVID and lockdowns. “Now that things are opening up, we are trying to regain our strength and return to normal lives,” she says.