Hyderabad's Natya Tarangini pays tribute to Kuchipudi
Yamini Reddy pioneering the dance form speaks to us about her institute and more
The Kuchipudi dancing school Natya Tarangini in Hyderabad has recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. The premiere institute was founded by Yamini Reddy with the support of her parents, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awardees Raja and Radha Reddy. When it comes to Kuchipudi, the Indian classical dance-drama form, with roots in Andhra Pradesh, we immediately remind ourselves of the iconic Kuchipudi dancing couple, Raja and Radha Reddy. They stand illustrious for preserving Kuchipudi's heritage while acclimating it to modern times.
Yamini, who is the artistic director of Natya Tarangini, and herself, a dancer, teacher and choreographer, has planned a revelry to honour this milestone here at the Ravindra Bharathi theatre in Lakdikapul on September 23. We saw Natya Taringini's academics and students performing for the crowd.
During the event, we caught up with Yamini who shared her insights into the birth of Natya Tarangini, originally situated in the Saket locality of New Delhi. She says, “After moving to Hyderabad, I opened a branch here in 2007 and have been conducting classes for over 15 years now. It feels great to touch the lives of children who are looking after this beautiful art form for life. Each of them brings something special to further beautify the dance form. The love and respect they have for it proves that they treasure the same in their hearts.”
Continuing to speak on how Kuchipudi has evolved as a dance form over the past 15 years, she adds, “I think it’s an incredibly graceful and expressive dance form which has now entered the space. My parents have travelled internationally carrying its finesse forward and globally popularising it." Sharing her experience as an instructor, she says, "As a teacher, I communicate well with my students to explain every move freely which is why they connect to me and bring perfection to their learning. In the process, I learn a lot about the art too, from them.”
The evening started with the traditional Ganapathi Vandana, a dance performance followed by a prayer to Lord Ganesha. Following that was a Kuchipudi interpretation of The Lord’s Prayer, illustrating how God resides in our souls as one even if he is acknowledged by several names. He might be Jesus, Allah, Rama, or Krishna. In the dance version, titled, My Heart Is a Temple, the dancers express how he is the creator of every living thing and the forgiver of every sin. They ask the Lord to make their hearts as pure as a temple in their prayers.
The event took place at the Ravindra Bharathi theatre in Lakdikapul on September 23.