The South Indian Cultural Association (SICA) is organising its 48th Annual Festival of Music & Dance from 10th to 16th March, at the Ravindra Bharathi auditorium. The week-long festival will feature several renowned artistes such as violinists Lalgudi G J R Krishnan & Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, flautist Shashank, dancer Vyjayanti Kashi, and vocalists S Sowmya, O S Arun, Maharajapuram Srinivasan and Madurai T N Seshagopalan.
Today the 5th day, Vyjayanthi Kashi from Bangalore will be performing a Kuchipudi dance ballet called Stabhdha. The ballet is about the supreme sacrifices of two of the most powerful women of the Mahabharatha - Gandhari and Draupadi. The concept of the ballet, the choreography, nattuvangam, direction and dialogue are by Kashi, and the ballet is performed by the dancers of the Shambhavi School Of Dance.
One of India's most respected classical dancers, Kashi is also a choreographer, dance guru, dance therapist, researcher and organizer. After 20 years in the field of dance, and now in her twilight, Kashi remains undaunted, vibrant and committed. She has firmly stamped her arresting presence on the contemporary Kuchipudi scene in an incredibly individualistic and totally personal style.
Her early training was with Guru Ramanna in Bharatanatyam. She later specialized in Kuchipudi and temple ritual dances under legendary gurus such as Late C R Acharyalu, Late Vedantham Prahlada Sharma, Padma Bhushan Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, Padmasri Vedantham Satyanarayana Sharma and Korada Narasimha Rao. She also studied yoga and the martial arts.
Kashi has conceived and conducted thought-provoking workshops, lecture-demonstrations and paper presentations, and has performed in India, UK, UAE, Germany, Italy, Africa, Singapore, Korea, Spain, Switzerland and other countries. She possesses an open-mindedness for both the old and the new. Her fluid choreography and repertoire of solo and group performances reflect both her Indian heritage and her cross-cultural experiments. She has choreographed mythological, historical, Sanskrit and contemporary ballets.
Kashi is currently preoccupied with her institute Shambhavi School of Dance, established in 1993. It is situated 11km from Bangalore, and is the one and only health spa which uses dance therapy for the emotionally disturbed, depressed, physically handicapped and mentally retarded.
SICA was founded in 1959 by Dewan Bahadur Aramuda Iyengar, the Finance Minister of Hyderabad's Nizam and a great patron of Carnatic music. The association has since organised more than 1,000 concerts. It has provided a basic platform for upcoming artistes like U P Raju and Nagamani, Mandolin Srinivas and the Malladi Brothers. It conducts workshops, felicitates artistes, and provides both moral and financial support to upcoming artistes. Dr S Chakravarthy, IAS, former Chief Secretary to the Govt. Of AP, is the current President of the association, and R Chakrapani is the General Secretary.
Entry is by season tickets of Rs. 300 per head for members. For others, it is Rs. 500 per head. Please contact R Chakrapani at 2742-5374/98491-24675 or V Ramachandran at 92461-61420 for further details.