Despite having no or less financial benefits, the traditional Bhagavathula families of Kuchupudi are sticking to their age-old art of dance wholeheartedly. While nearly 40 such families are living in the village, each member of a family is pursuing the traditional path of learn, perform, teach, propagate and keep the tradition alive.
Akhila Bharata Kuchipudi Natya Kalamandali (ABKNKM) founder-secretary P Kesava Prasad says, “Dance is on our blood. We are continuing our tradition and making all efforts to keep it intact.
At least one member of each family are learning the dance here. Several dancers from this village are running dance institutions in cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Vizag and Vijayawada.”
Several students are now pursing the courses at Siddhendra Yogi Kuchipudi Kalapeetham of Potti Sriramulu Telugu University and some seniors are working as the faculty there.
Chinta Ravi Balakrishna, a PhD scholar in Kuchipudi, says that they are continuing their tradition to pursue the dance though what they can earn very less comparing to other professions.
He, however, urges the government to create dance teacher posts in the important government schools including municipal on line of music or drawing teacher as it would encourage other to learn the dance and also provides secured employment to the people who are learning the dance now.
Students from other States are also coming to Kuchipudi village to learn the dance in its ‘true or old form’.
Sreelaksmi Goverdhanan, a well known Kuchipudi dance performer in Kerala, has come all the way to Kuchipudi from Thrissur. She is pursuing her MA in dance.
Sreelaksmhi, a postgraduate in Psychological Counselling and Hypnotherapy, has become a disciple of Pasumarthy Rattaiah Sarma at Kuchipudi. “By coming down to Kuchipudi, one can learn a lot. Here I am feeling so better,” she says.