The National Festival of Choreography held at Chowdaiah Memorial hall attracted a lot of music and dance connoisseurs recently. The event was organised by the Karnataka Sanmgeetha Nritya Academy. It saw many wonderful dance performances by groups coming from different parts of the country. The evening session of the second day started off with a Kuchipudi performance by P Ramalinga Shastri and group from Hyderabad. They performed a dance drama called Shashrirekha Parinayam, an episode from Mahabharata. Having performed for many years, these artists portrayed a graceful and overwhelming Yakshagana style of Kuchipudi, leaving the audience wonder struck. Shashirekha Parinayam is a popular theme in Kuchipudi, especially in Andhra Pradesh. It is a folk tale based on oral traditions and is adapted from the Mahabharat, even though not present in it. It showcases the marriage of Shashirekha to Abhimanyu. This performance was rendered by artists in different scenes and were backed by F Padma Shastri and D S V Shastri (vocals), K Raja Gopalacharya on mridangam, R Sudhakar on veena, A Shivas Paru on violin and V B S Murli on flute. The main characters were Abhimanyu, played by Venkata Chalapati and Shashirekha, played by Sai Chinmayi. Other characters were played by Chiranjeevi Chinta, Venkateshwara Sharma, Ajay Srinivas and many more performers. The entire dance drama lasted for about an hour. The audiences comprising people of all age groups, were left amazed by the entire show. R T Krishna, a traditional dance enthusiast who was present in the audience, commented, “This was a wonderful show. There are so many classical music shows and performances that attract younger audiences. Such dance events should be initiated quite often.”
Vyjanthi Kashi, Chairman of the Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy and a Kuchipudi dancer herself, was also present at the event. She gave out a message to the youth of Bangalore saying that it is important to keep tradition as well as go with the flow. “People have not accepted Kuchipudi as it is not as popular as other dance forms. The reason may be the language barrier, as Kuchipudi is generally in Telugu, or even the fact that people find it hard to relate to the story and theme of the performance,” she said. “This show was more like Yakshagana, unlike other solo Kuchipudi performances, which was initially popular. But it is now fading away which is exactly why such a rendering was done in order to spread awareness on the
issue,” she added.