Patruni Chidananda Sastry, Classical Dancer, Intrapreneur and Customer Service Expert, has been dancing since he turned seven years. Sastry has been pursuing drag for a while, as an aesthetic of bringing exploration practice and his style of drag has evolved by using multiple performance practices.
He says that off-late, his drag exploration has helped him rearing love for music and reintroduced him to use it within the performance pedagogy of drag. “I started singing and performing folk songs with my drag ranging from Hindi, Telugu to Bengali. Folk has helped me place my drag performance pedagogy unique and helped me build an interest to seek music,” says the artist.
Sastry shares that it was this exploration which pushed him to create and write songs in spaces where there is not much representation. “For a while Telegu land doesn’t have any queer representation in literature and music and as Telegu movies keeps interchanging gender and sexuality definition. I felt there was a huge need to create Telugu specific content. As a source I thought folk songs would be good to connect to the crowd,” he says.
The classical dancer states that with this idea, as part of Pride month, he wrote and recorded his first Telugu single titled “Pride Masam Anna”, a song which explains and emphasizes on basic terminologies of gender and sexuality spectrum. “This song can be a rhyme song to educate kids and adults on gender and sexuality spectrum. I had the opportunity to present these pieces in live shows time and again,” Sastry states.
Speaking about his current work, Sastry says that the upcoming exciting work is two more folk singles, one in Telugu and second in Teluglish. “The first song is titled Chiranjeevi Sukhibhava, a reimagination of popular tune from ‘Maya Bazar’, this is a song which I have written for the purpose of HIV awareness. The second song is called “Chudu Sexy Gurl”, a Telugu + English song written to reclaim the transphobic tunes of “Chudu Pinnama” and make it a celebratory tune to embrace genders and gender expressions. Chudu sexy gurl is also inspired by RuPaul’s Cover Gurl, written in core English. All these songs are self-recorded with limited equipment and to be released by December 1 in Music platforms like Spotify, Amazon Music and more,” he says. The artist also shares that he is also looking to collaborate with music creators for making more such content.
Sastry began learning Bharatanatyam from gurus Sri Kalamandalam Ventak in Kolkata and Smt Vaidehi Subhash and Sri Hari Mangalampalli in Hyderabad. He also learned Oddisi from Swayam Pragyan Sahoo and Preeti Mohapatra. He learnt Kuchipudi from Sri Siva Kumar. Also, he has a Diploma in Bharatanatyam and Certification of Avant Grade art Butoh from KEOI University.
Patruni Chidananda Sastry ‘s first release song Pride Masam Anna link: https://open.spotify.com/album/6pEiA23qXaon9zohlgdFd4?si=FrKDOGLRSYSAQekmc-3ftQ