Students of Sri Vari Padalu Bharatanatyam Dance Academy and Guru Rama Devi Nalla are going places. After their successful Sri Lankan trip in November, they were off to a five-day trip to Andaman & Nicobar Islands in mid-December on the invitation of PYDA Pyramids international. The Sri Vari Padalu students performed on two-days on December 16 & 18 respectively.
The students began the evening’s performance with Pushpanjali – paying obeisance to the Lords, Gurus and the audience. This was followed by Jathiswaram. The audience lapped up this presentation due to its fast and perfect foot work presentation. Natesha Kauthuvam followed the Jathiswaram, where the students’ presented scenes on the life of Dance of Lord, Lord Nataraja. As everyone in India are conversant with most popular Annamacharya songs, the students of Sri Vari Padalu presented some of them like – Adhivo Alladivo …, Brahmam Okate … to name a few. The students mesmerised the audience with their performances.
The students who performed at Andaman Islands included Padmavati, Deetya, Chethana Chinami, Jyothsna, Deepika and Vyshnavi. At the end of the performance, Guru Rama Devi Nalla was felicitated by the local Congress MP Kuldeep Rai Sharma. Also, the students were felicitated. “Our programme was very much appreciated by Kuldeep Rai Sharma,” Rama Devi says.
Speaking exclusively to Natyahasini, Guru Rama Devi says: “We have read about the place significance in school text books, but now we have seen and performed there and this performance is very dear to our heart and if invited again, we would not hesitate to return for another and bigger performance.” She says that they had gone to the Andaman Islands on the invitation of PYDA Pyramids International CEO Smt. Padma garu, who conducted PYDA Pyramids & Dhyanajali (Meditation, music and Classical dance program in the Andaman Islands).
On the first day of the programme, the Sri Vari Padalu team visited the Andaman cellular jail (Kala Pani). The Guru says that the three-storeyed prison, constructed by Britishers in 1906, is a pilgrimage destination for tourists. “This colossal edifice has mutely witnessed the most treacherous of inhumane atrocities borne by the convicts, who were mostly freedom fighters is now dedicated to the nation as a National Memorial. Here we saw few sculptures and images of the Freedom Struggle,” she says, adding: “The saga of the heroic Freedom Struggle is brought alive in a moving son-et lumiere inside the jail compound.”
On the second day, the team visited the Radha Nagar beach in Port Blair, which is over three-hour journey by cruise. She exclaims that Radha Nagar beach is the seventh best in the world. “Dotted with palm trees, the beach offers tourists a tranquil ambiance to relax and unwind amidst nature. Me and my students enjoyed a lot in this place. It was a neat and clean water,” she says.
Rama Devi says that on the third day, they went to North Bay Islands. “North Bay, the so-called Coral Island is famous for two things. One – the beautiful underwater corals and two – the Lighthouse which is also inscribed on our Rs. 20 note.” On the fourth day, the team went to Havelock and Neil Islands for Scuba diving and other water activities. She says that in Andaman and around Havelock Island there are many unexplored diving sites, rich marine life and abundant coral population. “For me and my students it was first-time Scuba diving and it was a wonderful experience,” she says.
The founder director of Sri Vari Padalu says that with the blessings of her Guru, Smt. Girija Devi garu, she hopes to scale greater heights and go places with her dance.