Kuchipudi, a classical dance artform that originates from a village called Kuchipudi in Andhra Pradesh in India is an ever graceful dance form. Watching Kuchipudi presentedby Mayura Academy under tutelage of Guru Venkata Ramana in collaboration with Jeeyar Educational Trust (JET) Australia Foundations was a treat. Especially because we see much less of this form of classical dance style in Sydney as opposed to its other counterpart Bharathanatyam.
Jet Australia were raising funds for the visually impaired children Nethravidyalaya holding the Kuchipudi Extravaganza at the Bahai Centre in Silverwater on the 28 November 2015.
The program commenced with the youngest of the students in the ‘Tiny tot’ section performing the basic steps of Kuchipudi. Under the tutelage of their guru and teacher Venkata Ramana of Mayura Dance Academy (School of Performing Arts) the students, like little bubbling brooks showed immense energy albeit sometimes hesitant yet attempting all the steps with a concentration that must have made their parent’s hearts swell with joy.
Venkat progresses through the evening taking the audience into all the mudras and jathis true to this form and gradually building and joining the mudras and jathis up to form sentences and dialogues which in turn, tell the stories. The show must have been a learning experience, for those who stopped to talk and actually keenly watch almost like an extended lecture demonstration.
The commentary in between the dances formed the chain that linked the entire program together. Commentary was crisp and bright enough to fill in the gaps and build the audience appreciation of this dance form throughout the evening.
The Vinayaka Kouthuvam was beautifully rendered demonstrating the mudras that are particular to showing the elephant headed God Ganesha. The second half of the evening progressed through with more experienced senior dancers who performed the Brahmanjali, Namashivayathe with grace and accurate rhythmic phrases. The solo items, Adigo Alladigo and Tharangam performed by Meghna and Indendhu by Sushma demonstrated their individual prowess in rhythm and expression, not to mention the entrancing choreography of Guru Venkata Ramana. Both showing immense promise.
The item on Dasavatharam performed by Aditi and Saakshi and the concluding piece on Ramayana Shabdam brought the evening to an end leaving a lasting impression on the audience.
All in all it was a delight to watch the all aspects of Kuchipudi presented and developed in a systematic manner through out the evening by the students of Mayura Academy of Dance. To other organisations out there, we should give Mayura Academy and Kuchipudi more opportunities to perform.