Natya Tarangini: Holding tight to what’s dear
There’s no stopping Kuchipudi dancer Yamini Reddy from passing all that she has learnt to the next generation
Dance has made her what she is today and passing it on to the younger generation is what she strives for. Yamini Reddy, who set up her dance institute Natya Tarangini in the city 15 years ago, is now all set to celebrate the milestone with her students. CE catches up with the danseuse who dedicated her life to Kuchipudi.
With her parents, both Padma Bhushan awardees — Dr Raja Reddy and Dr Radha Reddy — being dancers, it was only natural that Yamini would pick up classical dance. “I have been practising Kuchipudi since I was three and have performed all over the world, and set up my dream — the institute — that turned 15 now,” she shares of her fulfilling journey thus far.
Though dance runs in her family, Yamini kept at it because she witnessed the beauty of basic human expression through the art form. “Dance originated to express oneself, I loved how it serves as a unique medium. It was when I realised this that I began to grow crazy after it and decided to pursue it full time,” she tells CE.
Like it did to many other artists, the pandemic affected the dance industry, too, says she. “The lockdown was way too sudden and we had to quickly adapt to the online medium which of course, we were grateful for. But connecting via a small window was no match to meeting and dancing and learning together in person. It took us a while to get used to it but things went on smoothly, eventually. The pandemic brought to me the opportunity to conduct workshops for those living miles away. The satisfaction brought in a different form of energy and was a source of sanity for many students during those stressful two years. That is what is beautiful about art — we quickly adapt to it as if it was always there,” she explains.
Natya Tarangini was established by Yamini’s parents in New Delhi 50 years ago and is one of the premier institutes for dance. “After I moved to Hyderabad, I opened a branch in 2007 here and I have been conducting classes for the last over 15 years now. My family and I are dedicated to Kuchipudi with my sister running an institute in the USA. We thoroughly enjoy grooming students and helping them understand the grand heritage of dance,” she shares.
Yamini is currently caught up prepping for her upcoming performance at Ravindra Bharati on September 23 and she excitedly shares, “This is part of our anniversary celebrations and is going to be a special one because it will by and for the students. They all are pumped to be back on stage after a two-year-long break.”
There’s no stopping the danseuse from passing all that she has learnt to the next generation. On a concluding note, she says, “I want to make this field a more structured one in the future, I believe it is one of the most unstructured sectors and I think our nation needs to pay more attention to the performing sectors so that it becomes more sustainable for the artists, giving them the freedom to create things that people can enjoy every day.”