Making the Right Moves
Artistes as well as locals of Kuchipudi, the birthplace of the famous Indian classical dance form that goes by its name, in Movva mandal of Krishna district are ecstatic over Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s recent announcement that a dance academy will be set up in Kuchipudi and the village will be turned into a major tourist hub to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of the region.
Though several such proposals have been made for the development of Kuchipudi village, which is located amidst green paddy fields and irrigation canals about 60 km from Vijayawada, they have not translated into a reality so far.
Due to this, one cannot find anything attractive unless he or she is an ardent fan of Kuchipudi dance. Roads are in tatters and there is no good hotel or restaurant for the visitors.
There is no museum or some place to highlight the role of the village in making Kuchipudi a world famous dance form.
The locals are now pinning hopes on the government. “We have a lot of faith in Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who is known for delivering the goods. We were delighted after his announcement on Kuchipudi in the Assembly. However, we urge the government to initiate steps for promotion of Kuchipudi dance,” said Akhila Bharata Kuchipudi Natya Kalamandali (ABKNKM) founder-secretary P Kesava Prasad, a native of Kuchipudi. He, however, found fault with the previous governments for neglecting the village.
“Several proposals made to the tourism department or the APTDC to turn the village into a tourist spot have fallen on their deaf ears. We have urged the officials to take steps for the beautification of the four-acre pond adjacent to Sri Ramalingeswara Swami temple and also set up the statues of Kuchipudi exponents at the village.” he added.
Kuchipudi library-cum-dance school where a majority of the Kuchipudi dance teachers were trained by renowned maestros is now in a dilapidated condition. In 1935, Challapalli Raja Sivaram Prasad funded the library building that has been later turned into a dance school by Vedantam Parvateesam Sarma in 1957. Vedantam Ramalinga Sastry, principal of Siddhendra Yogi Kuchipudi Kalapeetham of Potti Sriramulu Telugu University, hailed the government’s decision to establish the dance academy and development of the village. “The academy will work for the promotion of the dance. It will also organise workshops and seminars and help to develop the Kuchipudi dance. I wish Chandrababu Naidu, who changed the profile of Basara temple town during his last tenure as the CM, will surely turn this village into a centre of cultural attraction.”
Well-known Kuchipudi artiste from Vijayawada, Sarada Ramakrishna, said the proposed academy should pave way for conducting research and promotion of Kuchipudi dance form rather than giving away awards and organising performances.
ABKNKM secretary P Kesava Prasada said the government can develop adjacent villages like Movva, Srikakulam, Ghantasala and Mopidevi in addition to Hamasala Deevi where one branch of the Krishna river confluences with the Bay of Bengal into a tourism circuit.