Sravya Manasa, Always On Her Toes

Kuchipudi dancer Sravya Manasa Bhogireddy is all over the news these days. As an individual and as a dancer and head of Sumadhura Arts Academy, Sravya in one word is ROCKING. Sravya along with her troupe performed at Pride-of Telangana Awards, Gooncha Nehru Hockey Tournament‘s opening ceremony, 60th National Open Athletic Championship in Warangal, National Architects Convention, pre-release event of movie Thalaivi, dubbing for Actor Samantha in the popular web-serial Family Man 2 among many others.   

Accepting Natyahasini’s congratulations on being the voice of Actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu in Family Man 2, Sravya Manasa says: “It feels like a dream even today to actually think if I voiced for my favourite Samantha! So, I’m a part of the Movie Dubbing Artistes Union since last 3.5 years. I have been dubbing for character artists, Heroines, Villains etc. My voice was always complimented of being bold yet soft. So, I should thank the team of Family Man 2 who really thought I can pull off the role for dubbing,” she says.

The dancer says that she was always interested in Acting, Theatre etc… “Dubbing or the Voice Acting was related and I was really interested in taking up something new. And the more I started doing, I started enjoying it more,” admits Sravya. 

The Sumadhura Arts Academy founder says that the troupe has performed both at Opening & Closing Ceremony of National Athletics and it was such a great experience to perform for all the World Class Athletes from across the country. “I also had an opportunity to choreograph and direct the Opening Ceremony Act for 57th National Hockey Tournament with about 150 dancers and crew for 30 minutes. This was beyond the world experience for me. Received huge response from all the sports officials, players and the media about the same,” she says. 

Social Champion: Sravya Manasa champions social causes from the front. Early this year, she donated her hair for cancer awareness. “The hair donation was more for self and then thought it should also help somebody. So, donated. I always believe if your intention is right, the output will be received well. I worked as a choreographer for Special Kids at Sweekar Upkaar and the experience I had there transformed my life for good. The honest love I received after spending many days with the special kids made me realise that it’s all in the giving,” says the crusader. 

Her Dance-Theatre Productions also portray social issues as she is connected to them. “I also happened to customise an act for Governor of Telangana for Women’s Day at Raj Bhavan on 4 March 2020 along with performances from the legendary Gurus like Smt. Manjula Ramaswamy & Dr. Anuradha Jonnalagadda. Mamidi Harikrishna garu has seen me choreograph and customise few acts at different events and he gave me this wonderful opportunity to compose an act concentrating on the darker aspect of the society, yet give a positive strong climax motivating at the end,” she says. Sravya adds that she could do it in two days for them and received lot of appreciation from the Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and all other delegates present there. 

Sravya began learning Kuchipudi with Guru Sri Raju garu along with his daughter Padmaja, further practiced under Dr. Sudhakar garu. “Completed my Masters in Performing Arts from University of Hyderabad which gave me the intense learning of the art form till then,” she says. The dancer further says, her mother Smt. Lalitha Bhogireddy and father Sri Srinivas Bhogireddy, being culturally inclined as both of them were into singing and theatre since their college, she had an opportunity to explore multiple fields of art since she was a child.

Sravya with her parents

Journey Just Started: Looking back at her dance journey till date, Sravya says that the journey still feels like as if it started yesterday. “This field, gives a lot of new excitement every time we have a show, every time I get to do a new choreography, every time there are new faces in the audience or for that matter, every time you get to teach a new student. There’s NEW something every day and so the journey till yesterday, today and further will be of much excitement and enthusiasm for sure,” she says.

On handling choreographies as per the need, Sravya says: “The traditional pieces, like for Master garu’s choreographies, I keep it as it is. I’m so addicted to his style of choreography and there’s no scope of doing betterment to traditional pieces like that. I love performing the purely traditional pieces which are passed on to generations.” On choreographies helmed by her, Sravya keeps it traditional or takes songs of the new age Carnatic singers and does group choreography with lot of formations, graceful fast movements, to visually appeal the audiences. “Also, I keep it for today’s needs but not going away from the basics of the art form. I chose a piece understanding what kind of audience am I going to have for an event. Corporate or Temple or Awards Night or Old Age Home or School Kids etc.,” the dancer says. 

Sravya admits group choreographies are her biggest strength and excitement. “I love doing choreographies with larger groups and making a lot of formations and narrating a beautiful story through. That’s more of what interests me. Recently, I conceptualised, directed and choreographed the Opening Ceremony of 57th National Hockey Tournament in Hyderabad with about 150 dancers inculcating 13 cultures of India. The Association said ‘Brilliant Choreography’, ‘You killed it’ and like,” she says and it is proof of what keeps her doing more of what she likes. 

Cultural Scene Good: The Kuchipudi dancer says, since she can recall Culture and Hyderabad have co-existed. “I used to see of lot of events happening since I was a child where I was also introduced. My family used to take me and my brother to a lot of shows at Ravindra Bharati, Tyagaraya Ganasabha on weekends. So, I grew up with a lot of live cultural scene. And it has been only growing. Every Corporate or Sports event in the last couple of years at least to what I remember, make sure to include a traditional number along with other art forms. No matter what kind of event, there’s always a requirement for culture. So, I think it’s good, but not still at a place it deserves to be,” she says.

A gutsy youngster to have pursued Engineering and Dance together speaks volumes of her dedication. “I was always interested in structures, drawings etc. I also used to draw and paint a lot of stuff during school and college. So, Civil Engineering was my choice. Never thought Dancing would be my full-time career. And then I worked for Hyderabad Metro Rail on site, while pursuing Masters in Transportation,” she says, quickly adding: “It was a great experience working for Metro but something pushed me very strongly towards taking dance as a full-time career.” 

Pursuing Ph. D.: Sravya soon realised that her heart was in dance and one day quit everything to pursue Dance full-time. “My parents were very supportive and for a fact they always knew I would make a better career in arts than anything else. So, after leaving Metro, I finished my Masters in Transportation Engineering and then immediately applied for Maters in Performing Arts Dance at UoH,” she says. Currently pursuing Ph. D. under Prof. MS Sivaraju, Sravya says, “UoH has a systematic learning of the art form with amazing Gurus like Prof. Aruna Bhikshu, Prof. Anuradha Jonnalagadda, Prof. MS Sivaraju and DSV Sastry garu guiding us in Music. The practicals with Anuradha garu have been an intense learning of the art form which included lot of theory in depth. Aruna Bhikshu garu’s theory was very helpful in understanding the art form as a whole. Every subject, every semester has been a huge learning in my life about dance.” Presently, Sravya is working on few group choreographies on Keertanas and focusing on research work.

Sumadhura Arts Academy registered in 2005 with branches at Manikonda, Motinagar, Nizampet, Balanagar and Neredmpet, Sravya shares that few students from their Academy would be performing their Rangapravesham beginning 2022. 

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