Santhosh’s Clarion Call To Learn Dance Sincerely

Sri Chandra Kala Nilayam founder and Perini and Andhra Natyam dancer, Perini Santhosh, speaking to Natyahasini, advices youngsters that it is not just about learning dance, but imparting knowledge to enthusiasts and spreading happiness along the way. “Dance learnt seriously with dedication will never fail us. It will get us fame and name. Learn classical dance sincerely and perform,” he says.

Born to Perumandla Narayana and Chandra, Santhosh grew up in Kunepalli village, in Nizamabad district, of the state. While studying in Class VI, in the government school, during the school’s education festival, Ms Padmavathy, who taught Telugu subject, performed on the occasion, and Santhosh realised his calling that it was dance. 

His mother, Chandra, realising his passion enrolled him under a dance teacher and daily, he had to cycle 25km from his village to learn dance. After that there was no looking back and after completing Intermediate, it was dance, dance, all the way! For a period of two years, Santhosh earned Andhra Natyam certificate course, under Mrs. Jayalakshmi, founder of Siddhartha Kalakshetra. He later did a Diploma in Andhra Natyam under Perini Prakash and his wife Perini Sunila Prakash. From Sri Annamacharya Music and Dance College, he certified in Perini Natyam. Scaling greater academic excellence in Perini Natyam, Santhosh began teaching the art form simultaneously to children in a private school in Janagama district.

In a bid to spread the State art form in his village, Santhosh established a dance school, ‘Sri Chandra Kala Nilayam’, in 2014, in his mother’s memory. His main motto of setting up the dance school was that no child should suffer the way, he did and the art should be available at the local level. Along with teaching the art, Santhosh brought together a team of determined dancers and began performing. The Perini dancer laments that despite the new age technology and the State doing so much for Classical Arts, parents and children are not very forthcoming to pursue it as a career.

Santhosh recalls that on the first anniversary of Sri Chandra Kala Nilayam, the then District Additional Collector, Vanaja Devi, who was the chief guest, after watching the programme praised him for the wonderful presentation. On the occasion of Telangana Day, on the initiative of Additional Collector Vanaja Devi, after the formation of Janagama District, the District Collector Devasena performed. Also, with encouragement and the never die spirit, the students of Sri Chandra Kala Nilayam performed across the district and the State. “Inspired by the performances, Collector Vinay Krishna Reddy’s daughter too enrolled for Perini dance and is receiving positive reviews for her performances across Janagama district,” he says.

With over 100 performances under his belt, across the country, Santhosh is flying the Perini flag high, by opening the branches of Sri Chandra Kala Nilayam in Aleru, Bachchannapet, Raghunathapalli and Station Ghanpur to teach the beautiful and energy-filled art form. The dancer is thankful to the Telangana Language and Culture Department for promoting and continuously supporting Perini dance. In his devotion to the art mission, he has the full support and backing of his wife Aparna, who is also an exceptional dancer.

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