Pranavi Tumati on how she gets to be herself through Kuchipudi

Pranavi Tumati opens up about her childhood and how her dance institutes lifelong connections

Chokita Paul Published :  10th November 2023 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  10th November 2023 12:00 AM
Pranavi Tumati

Pranavi Tumati

The unity of raga, tala and sruti is full of sweet thunder and tuneful phrases. Hyderabad-based professional Kuchipudi dancer Pranavi Tumati has lived through several settings. She devotes her time wholeheartedly to noble pursuits of teaching, gorgeous performances, and rigorous training, with a lofty mission to elevate the art of Kuchipudi to unparalleled heights on an international stage. In the sixth edition of ZenBowls’ project, a Kuchipudi dance recital called Curated Khana & Kala, the 27-year-old Natyatarangini-awardee has choreographed the show with her ensemble as a world-class greenhouse for proficient dance.

Additionally, the visionary behind Sri Manasa School of Dance, Pranavi champions the belief that dancing acts as a universal language, breaking the ice effortlessly and opening doors to new friendships. After all, in the world of dance, she sees it as not just a mere movement but a bridge that spans across cultures, making strangers feel like old friends. “Dancing creates lifelong bonds. The music and movements become a universal language that speaks to the core of human emotions. It is an unspoken conversation where people connect on a deeper level, sharing their emotions, dreams, and vulnerabilities without uttering a single word,” she tells us.

Envision the soul-stirring essence of Kuchipudi, embodied in a mesmerising special performance — the tarangam — as if, a delicate lotus blooming amidst a tranquil pond. The extraordinary dance unfolds on a brass plate, frequently filled with water. With finesse and precision, the dancer positions her feet on the plate’s raised edges, skillfully manoeuvring it while gliding across the stage with flawless balance. It will be a wholesome splendour of artistry and grace, assures Pranavi. She continues, “The tarangam in Kuchipudi is like a special chapter, telling stories sung from ancient Sanskrit texts as a heartfelt tribute to Krishna. Picture it as a spiritual journey, starting with the soulful notes of Ganesh Vandana, akin to the first rays of dawn gently touching the earth, heralding the beginning of something divine. Each movement is like a poetic verse, painting the air with tales of love, devotion, and spirituality. The show will highlight the essence of ancient wisdom and devotion.”

Similarly, the Thillana, serving as a grand finale, acts as a gateway to the sublime, extending an invitation to the audience to sense a divine presence communicated through the eloquence of dance. Pranavi’s childhood existed in an era untouched by technology. Her fascination with dance classes dates back to her earliest memories. During her practice sessions, she would sing to herself, meticulously jot down the intricate dance steps, and dissect the music into nuanced sequences. Her journey began at the tender age of 11, and since then, she has amassed an impressive repertoire of over 4,000 performances in and around Hyderabad. Reflecting on her formative years, Pranavi shares, “As a child, I simply followed my teacher’s guidance — practising diligently and aiming for perfection. However, as I ventured into choreography, my focus shifted towards the art of storytelling within the art form. Dancing allows the freedom to truly be myself.”

Tickets at `800. November 10, 7.30 pm. At ZenBowls, Manikonda. — chokita@newindianexpress.com @PaulChokita