Lasya Priya is presenting Nrityanjali, a Kuchipudi dance performance by Sonia Sanga from USA, on 11th January, at the Ravindra Bharathi auditorium. Starting with an invocationary Pushpanjali, Sonia will move to Annamacharya's Jatiswaram, followed by Sita Rama Sarma's Ashtalakshmi Keertana in Ragamalika ragam, Bhujangaraya Sarma's Bhaamani Satya Bhaamani in Bharavi ragam, a Narayana Teertha Tarangam Nandanandana Gopala in Ragamalika ragam, a Devi Stuthi of Dr. Balantrapu Rajani Kanta Rao Maheshwari Mahakali, and finally a Mangalam.
The orchestra will be headed by Dr. Uma Rama Rao with the nattuvangam, followed by D S V Sastry with vocals, Rajagopalacharya on the mridangam, J Dattatreya on the flute, Ramaraju Dinakar on the violin and Rayaprolu Sudhakar on the veena. The choreography is by Dr. Uma Rama Rao and Jyothi Lakkaraju. Dadasaheb Phalke and Padmabhushan Awardee Dr. Akkineni Nageshwara Rao, Vice-Chancellor of Telugu University Dr. A Manjulatha, and renowned Kuchipudi Dancer, Principal & Director of Devi Kuchipudi Art Academy Dr. Shobha Naidu are the special invited guests of the evening.
Sonia had a fascination for the beauty and grace of Indian classical dance from a young age. Recognizing her keen interest in dance, her mother placed Sonia under the tutelage of Jyothi Lakkaraju of Natyalaya Kuchipudi School of Dance in Cupertino, California, where she trained for the past 14 years and performed her Ranga Pravesam in 2001. She also served as an assistant dance instructor at the school for several years.
Sonia spent three of her summers in India to learn dance from Dr. Uma Rama Rao (Jyothi Lakkaraju's guru) of Lasya Priya, whose passion for dance and encouragement has inspired Sonia to further excel in the art. She further diversified her dance styles by training under other renowned Kuchipudi dancers such as Padmasri Dr. Shobha Naidu of Kuchipudi Art Academy in Hyderabad and Dr. Rathna Kumar of Anjali Center for Performing Arts in Houston, Texas.
Sonia has received several major classical solo dance awards including first prize in the junior category at the 1997 Telugu Association of North America (TANA) competitions, first prize in senior category in the 1998 Federation of Indo-American Association competitions, second prize in Senior category in the 2003 TANA competitions, and runners-up in the 2003 Northern California American Coed Pageant Talent Competitions.
In addition to dance, Sonia has excelled in her studies too. She completed her bachelor's degree in June 2007, and is spending this year working for the Center for AIDS Research at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She will join the North-Western University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, in August of 2008.
Lasya Priya is an institute founded in 1985 by Dr. Uma Rama Rao, to impart knowledge in the theoretical and the practical aspects of Indian classical dance traditions. In a span of 23 years, this institution has produced several students who work for the promotion of this ancient art tradition in India and abroad, either as teachers or as performing artists.
Please contact Dr. Uma Rama Rao, Director of Lasya Priya, at 2335-2115/92465-89617 for further details.