Natya Tarangini Institute Of Kuchipudi Dance is presenting Andhri, in the Parampara Series of the National Festival Of Music And Dance, from 31st August to 2nd September, at the Ravindra Bharathi auditorium. This 3-day festival will feature some of the topmost dancers and musicians of the country, like Kuchipudi dancers Raja & Radha Reddy, Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan, mridangist Dr. Yella Venkateshwara Rao, tabla player Bikram Ghosh, Odissi dancer Sharon Lowen and ghazal maestro Hariharan.
Today, the inaugural day, the Kuchipudi dance duo of Raja & Radha Reddy, along with Raja's second wife Kaushalya Reddy and his daughters Yamini and Bhavana Reddy, will perform a Kuchipudi dance recital.
Raja and Radha Reddy are disciples of Guru Vedantam Prahlada Sarma. They were trained at Sri Siddhendra Kalakshetram in Kuchipuri village, and at Kalakshetram, Eluru. Briefly, Radha Reddy learnt Odissi from Mayadhar Raut, and Raja Reddy learnt Kathak at the Music College, Hyderabad.
Raja Reddy hails from an agricultural background, and a childhood fascination for dance had him leave his small village in Andhra Pradesh to learn dance. It was dance that brought his child bride, Radha, to him, despite initial parental opposition. And it was dance that united him with Kaushalya, the younger sister of Radha and also his second wife. Yamini is Radha's daughter, while Bhavana is Kaushalya's sibling.
Through their togetherness and perfect unison, Raja and Radha Reddy portray the masculine vigor and lyrical charm of the classical pairs of Hindu mythology - such as Shiva-Parvati, Rama-Sita and Krishna-Radha - thus identifying themselves with the twin concept of Purusha and Prakriti, the male-female principle in Indian philosophy.
The Reddys have taken the Kuchipudi dance style to various corners of the globe. The most memorable performance was at New Orleans, in front of the then President of the United States of America, Gerald Ford. There they performed on board a barge floating down the mighty river Mississipi.
Another moment they remember most vividly was their performance in Cuba. President Fidel Castro was there in person to video record their dance. They also had the honor of being invited as the first Indian dancers to participate in the International Dance festival of Avignon in France and Salzburg in Austria.
The couple's contributions in the festivals of India in the USA and the UK were considered outstanding. In July 1996, they were the star attraction of the All-Star Ballet Gala festival in Japan. Their tour of Europe in 2001 and the U S in 2003 received an overwhelming response. Each performance culminated with a standing ovation from the audience. They also featured as star performers in the prestigious Edinburg Festival in 2002.
Raja and Radha Reddy are proud recipients of many national and international awards and titles for their contribution to the field of Kuchipudi. They were the first couple to receive the Padmasri and Padmabhushan awards individually and together.
Natya Tarangini is an institute of excellence devoted to the Kuchipudi dance. It's run by Padmabhushans Raja and Radha Reddy, and Kaushalya, over the last 29 years, with the aim of propagating the rich Indian heritage of a glorious music and dance tradition.
As part of its endeavor to redefine and rejuvenate this heritage in the arts, dance and music, Natya Tarangini has been organising major dance and music festivals titled the Parampara series. Under the series, Natya Tarangini has organized this series as Vaangmayee in 2004, Layaalayam in 2005 and Sambhavami Yuge Yuge in 2006, all in Delhi. This year, it is being held for the first time in Hyderabad, and is being called Andhri.
The entry to the festival is free for all. Please contact Natya Tarangini at 98662-67980 for further details.