Sahasra Receives Thunderous Applause @ Rangapravesham

Sahasra Varma Nadimpalli, student of Abhinaya Kuchipudi Art Academy and Kuchipudi dancer and Guru Usha Goteti performed her Rangapravesam to a thunderous applause at the Shilpakala Vedika recently. Born to Swati Lakshmi and Hari Krishna, Sahasra began learning Kuchipudi at a very young age. For a period of two years, Sahasra learnt Kuchipudi under Sridevi Mungara and she has been learning under Guru Usha for the past seven years.

Sahasra began the evening’s performance with Mamavathu Sri Saraswathi, composed by Mysore Vasudeva Acharya, which is an ode to the Goddess of knowledge, praising her infinite wisdom and how she is worshipped and loved by all. The song was choreographed by her Guru’s Guru, Padma Shri Dr. Sobha Naidu Garu. This was followed by Kuchipudi Maestro, Guru Padma Bhushan Dr. Vemapti Chinna Satyam’s choreographed Bhamakalapam, which is the heart and soul of Kuchipudi. Pravesha Daruvu was presented first, introducing Satyabhama in all her pride and glory, which slowly fades into lament over her separation from Krishna. The next daruvu, Shakunalu, is an account of the good omens she notices, such as cows, hoping they signify the return of her lord. The young dancer does justice to the piece.

Guru Usha picked another choreography of Dr. Sobha Naidu of Saint Annamacharya’s composition, ‘Deva Devam Bhaje’, which describes the valour possessed by Lord Rama, hailing him as the great king of all kings and the epitome of glory and eminence. The piece contains an episode depicting Sita Swayamvaram and how Lord Rama emerges triumphant as the worthiest suitor.

For Sahasra, Guru Usha choreographed three pieces for her big day. They are Kalinga Narthana Thillana, Durga Tarangam and Jo Achyuthananda. Presenting Kalinga Narthana Thillana, composed by Oothukadu Venkata Kavi, the dancer presents the Thillana capturing the energy of the piece, including the fast-paced movements describing the Lord. Presenting the Tarangam, Sahasra dances to the composition of Saint Narayana Theertha’s Durga Tarangam, depicting her expertise on dancing upon the rims of a brass plate, while executing the Jathi.  

The audience could be seen tapping their feet and singing along to the popular lullaby of Annamacharya, ‘Jo Achyuthananda’, which vividly describes the antics of a young Krishna and the many mischiefs he engages in, from stealing milk and butter to enraging a sleeping cow by grabbing its tail. Kudos to Sahasra for performing the lullaby with ease and mischief expression writ large on her face.

Guru Usha’s Abhinaya Kuchipudi Art Academy founded in 1997 has bases in Nallagandla, Hyderabad and the San Francisco Bay Area in the US. The institute imparts training to over 100 students in these locations and online. Guru Usha is pioneering a novel approach to Kuchipudi dance by integrating it with other related art forms such as Carnatic music, Talam, Yoga and Literature with an emphasis on Hindu mythology, spirituality and temple iconography.

On the Big Day, the Music Ensemble consisted of Usha Goteti on Nattuvangam, Sweta Prasad on Vocal, Renuka Prasad on Mridangam, Chandra Rao on Violin, Jogavajjula Dattatrayulu on Flute, Rayaprolu Sudhakar on Veena, and V Sridharacharya on Special Effects.

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