Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Kuchupidi and Renga Vivekananthan

Renga Vivekananthan

As we are more involved with Barathanatyam, we sometime fail to acknowledge and appreciate the other forms of dances like Kuchipudi. With its aesthetic beauty and the performers' devotional touch, Kuchipudi gives you more joy and create mental bliss.

According to this article, Kuchipudi originated from a village called Kuchipudi in South India and was performed only by Brahmin men, exclusively in temples. Later on, with Siddendra Yogi's guidance, it blossomed into a beautiful art form. And with the advent of women as performers, this art caught up with mass adulation.

Ranga Vivekananthan from Jaffna is a great performer of Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam in Srilanka.

So there was an occasion, in our Vinayaga temple in Karaveddi east, my Periappa (Uncle) arranged a dance program of Ranga Vivekananthan and gave me ( in my late twenties) a chance to function as compere of this performance. As all the songs were in Telugu, I was asked to read out the explanation of every item in Tamil, more or less in a dramatic way. As I was a budding stage actor at that time, I believe that I did a good job. It gave me immense pleasure to watch that top class performance and for being a part of it too.

Thereafter, Mr.Vivekananthan invited me to function as narrator and compere at his daughter's performances in Kandy and Colombo. I was thrilled to be a member of this great dancer's entourage and still cherish those memories.

Recently I read in the web that Ranga Vivekananthan is living and conducting classes in Argentina. Visit her school's web page Anadarajam in Spanish language.

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