Srivari Padalu Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi Dance Academy in West Marredpally, Secunderabad, headed by Guru Nalla Rama Devi, who performed in Kedarnath and Badrinath, Haridwar and Rishikesh, along with her 22 students, have returned home with pleasant memories. Speaking to Natyahasini, Guru Rama Devi says: “Our classical Indian dance forms, our rich cultural heritage, is respected everywhere.”
Rama Devi shares that in 2019, they had made plans to perform at Kedarnath and Badrinath, but due to bad weather, they could not perform at Kedarnath, but in 2022, the dream of performing at the abode of Lord Shiva was fulfilled. “We embarked on a trip to the Himalayas on 24 May 2022 via Delhi. “From Delhi, we reached Devabhoomi, Haridwar and performed the Ganga Harathi. This was the first time that we witnessed a sea of humanity on the Ganga ghats,” she says. The Bharatanatyam dancer says that before they embarked on the Himalayan trip, they were alerted about the bad weather and snowfall, but as all tickets were booked well in advance, they decided to go ahead with the tour.
The dance guru states that with clear weather and taking a trip by a chopper to Badrinath was a god send opportunity. “Only after reaching there, the weather started to chill, with slight snowfall. It was tough performing around 10 pm, but the Academy students were determined and enthusiastic. On reaching the performance arena in costumes, I removed the jacket and socks as I didn’t want to perform wearing those. Seeing me, the students also did the same,” says the Academy founder.
Double Darshan: Rama Devi states that in Badrinath, they performed on Srimannarayana and Lord Krishna songs and Annamacharya kritis. She further says: “There was a long line of 4km for the Darshan of Lord at Kedarnath. But temple authorities took us directly for Darshan in the dance costume. We were very lucky to perform Abhishekam also for Lord Shiva and feel blessed to touch the Shiva Linga.” The dancer says that they again performed in front of the Temple. “As the chopper was under repair, I and some students got stuck and were provided accommodation and thus another darshan of the Lord,” she says.
Police and Temple authorities felicitated the dancers at Kedarnath. “At Badrinath, we performed during the day and got special darshan. Students were felicitated by Badrinath Darmadhikaari, Sri Bhuvan Chandra ji, K.C Bhatt Ji, I.P.S,” she says. According to the dancer, the temple authorities forwarded their performance video to the media in Uttarakhand. “We were surprised to see our videos and pictures in Televisions and Newspapers there,” says the dancer.
The dance guru says the programme was organised by Dr. Sharath Chandra and Dr. Dharani. “Without them this trip would not be possible. They organised everything very well and I am very thankful to them for giving me this opportunity,” she says.
Rama Devi mentions that in Rishikesh, they took a dip in the Ganga and the students were very focussed on performing in the two revered temples keeping everything out of mind. The students who represented the Sri Vari Padalu Academy included Rohitha Nalla, Aanusree, Deetya, Asmitha, Kavya Sri Reddy, Akila, Shilpa Linga, Maheshwari, Priyanka, Shivani, Swetha, Varsha, Preethi G, Vaishnavi A, Bhagvati and guru Smt. Nalla Rama Devi.