Founded by Kuchipudi dancing couples Raja and Radha Reddy, Natya Tarangini recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. What began with a vision to preserve and propagate the popular dance form from Andhra Pradesh has gained a lot of prominence since its inception.
The programme witnessed students of Natya Tarangini perform to different songs. Raja and Radha Reddy performed along with their daughters Yamini and Bhavana Reddy. Raja and Radha Reddy created history by becoming the first couple to receive Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan for their contributions in bringing Kuchipudi dance on the cultural map of India.
The Raja-Radha Reddy style of Kuchipudi focuses on the perfection of technique, footwork and body movement with a fine balance of expressions or acting.
Established in 1976, Natya Tarangini was started with an idea of popularising Kuchipudi style of classical dance in Northern India. It has since then evolved into a unique arts institute encompassing all activities involved in the formation of arts.
The anniversary celebrations began with the beginners reciting slokams. The tiny-tots of Natya Tarangini recited three shlokas interspersed with a few fundamental steps which are typically taught at the beginning of dance training.
The recital was then followed by the first performance of the day. A group of 10 dancers who took the stage danced on the theme of Rajashrisabdam. Composed in Raagamalika ragam, this number is in praise of King Pratapsimha, describing the great qualities he has in himself.
It was then followed by a song composed in Mohana ragam describing the Dasavatharam of Lord Vishnu. As many as 16 dancers flooded the stage and gave an amazing performance.
The programme later on took a turn towards an epic performance titled as Mandook Shabadam. The song recited a scene where elephant king, Gajendra is attacked by a crocodile and how Lord Vishnu rescued him. The song is in Mohana Ragam and the depiction of Gajendra’s salvation is dedicated to Lord Rama. The stage was filled with 25 dancers who performed brilliantly on this episode.
The event nearing to its conclusion saw a Tillana presented by Raja and Radha Reddy. The Tillana broke new grounds as a musical composition. Set in the Raga Kalyani, the Tillana switches over to other ragas by shifting the tone or the basic note of the scale. The programme concluded with a performance by 13 dancers who danced on Rasashabdam. The song for the act was composed in Raga Arabhi. The act described the beauty of Krishna as the embodiment of eternal bliss. In this item the dancers executed intricate rhythmic patterns on the rim of a brass plate. Dancing on the rim of a brass plate marks the climax of a typical Kuchipudi concert and is symbolic of the dancers union with the universal god.
The songs were sung by Deevi Ravikant while the violin was played by Anil Kumar and the Mridangam was accompanied by Bhasker Rao.