A Grand Anniversary Celebration

– Nataraj Music and Dance Academy Celebrated its 19th Anniversary

Text and Pics: Paul Nicodemus

Classical dance has once again triumphed in showcasing its grandeur. The dance ballet presented by the students of Nataraj Music and Dance Academy captivated the audience of all age groups. Kalabharathi Auditorium in Visakhapatnam city was packed to the rafters with dance aficionados during the 19th anniversary celebrations of Nataraj Music and Dance Academy, a cultural organisation based in the port city of Visakhapatnam.

As part of the celebrations, students of the academy presented Kuchipudi solo performances and a dance ballet titled ‘Chenchu Lakshmi Nrisimha Kalyanam’. Based on a popular folklore, Rambhatla Nrisimha Sarma, a Nandi award recipient wrote the one-and-half-hour ballet and Dr Dwaram V Tyagaraj provided the music. Twenty-eight students under the guidance and choreography of KV Lakshmi played their characters to perfection and enthralled the gathered audience with their impeccable performances.

The ballet as per Kuchipudi tradition began with the Sutradhar narrating the story. It proceeded with a ‘Pravesh dharuvu’ praising Lord Ganesha. Starting with the episode of Narasimha’s emergence followed by Hiranyakasipu vadha, the ballet depicted in detail how Mahavishnu in the guise of Narasimhaswamy was followed by Mahalakshmi in the guise of Chencheetha to get married to him. Narayana as Narasimha, Tejaswi as Hiranyakasipu, Bhagyasri as Chenchu Lakshmi, Sujana as Chenchu Vishnu, Tejasri as Adilakshmi, Amruta as Prahlada, Sanchita as Narada, Prakya as Sikhanayak played their parts brilliantly. After the ballet, students of NMDA along with their parents felicitated and honoured KV Lakshmi, founder secretary and principal of NMDA.

Chenchu Lakshmi , Chenchu Vishnu , Adilakshmi

Earlier in the evening, after the lamp lighting ceremony, the organisers presented a portrait of Master Vempati Chinna Satyam to GRK Prasad (Rambabu), secretary of Kalabharathi. Kuchipudi artistes Sudagani Geeta Narayan and Sudha Varma kick-started the evening with scintillating Kuchipudi solo performances. S Ravi Shankar Narayan, IRS, additional commissioner of income tax, Visakhapatnam; B Satyanarayana Raju, IRS, additional commissioner of income tax, Mumbai; G Viswanadh, governor of Rotary District 3020, and GRK Prasad (Rambabu), secretary of Kalabharathi graced the occasion as guests. BR Vikram Kumar, founder president of Nataraj Music and Dance Academy, supervised the programme.