Akhila Nerusu Kuchipudi Rangapravesam

Chi. Lakshmi Akhila Nerusu, the daughter of Sri Satyanarayana and Smt. Padmaja Nerusu, successfully completed her Kuchipudi Rangapravesam at Novi Middle School Auditorium, in Novi, MI on July 17th, Sunday. The program was conducted ably and efficiently by Akhila's guru, Smt. Sailaja Pullela.

The curtain opened to the traditional Kuchipudi invocation song, Vani Paraku. Akhila started her performance appropriately with Ganesa Kavutvam, a salute to Lord Ganesa, the remover of obstacles. The song was in the ragam Nattai. The next item was a tribute to Siva, the Lord of Dance, in the form of Adi Sankara's Sivashtakam, set in Mohana Ragam. Akhila executed the complex Siva postures with poise and precision. The next item was one ripe with potential for some deep abhinaya, the famous javali of Dharmapuri Subbaraya, Parulanna Mata, in the ragam Kapi. Akhila surprised me with her ability to bring up the deep and ever-shifting emotional moods of the heroine in this gem of a composition. Her depiction of cursing "the other woman" for putting enchantments on her man was particularly delightful. Both the moods and the gestures that pervade this javali seem very alien to children growing up in a western culture. However, Akhila seemed to have received very good training from her Guru and she performed admirably.

The main item of the afternoon was Bhamakalapam. Kuchipudi, primarily being the form of Nritya Natakam, is fully brought to form in a drama. Guru Smt. Sailaja had chosen a 40 minute long sequence from Bhama Kalapam which included Satyabhama's pravesa dharuvu, Bhama's dialog with her confidante, Madhavi, and concluded with Bhama writing a letter to her beloved Lord Srikrishna. Akhila performed the role of Satyabhama with aplomb. She was in character all through the sequence. Sri Srinivasa Raju Dhenuvakonda ably supported Akhila in the role of Madhavi. Sri Ananth Pullela provided the voice for Madhavi while Akhila spoke her dialogs herself. She deserves high praise for her vachika abhinaya. This sequence was a real treat to the audience, and I have no doubt, if Akhila continues to practice Kuchipudi, that she would mature into a very good dancer.

After a brief intermission, Akhila returned to stage with Uthukkadu Venkata Kavi's immortal Kalinga mardhana krithi, Marakatha Manimaya Chela. In this piece, Akhila showcased her agility and stamina, executing and holding statuesque postures as well as the complex jathis. For the neraval on the line "kanaka mani maya nupura charana", Akhila performed the plate dance, which drew high praise from the audience. This was followed by Annamacharya composition Okapari kokapari in the ragam Kharaharapriya. The rangapravesam concluded with a brisk thillana in Kunthalavarali (composition of Sri. M. Balamuralikrishna) and Mangalam. These last two items were original choreography by Akhila's guru, Smt. Sailaja.

It is very heartening to see full orchestral support provided by local musicians. As usual Sri Jeyasingham excelled in his percussion and Sri Sasidhar produced some marvelous melodies on his electric veena. They were joined by youthful talent of Sri Aditya Sarvesh on flute and Prashanth Gururaja on violin. The music ensemble was led by the vocals of Smt. Suryalakshmi Rudrabhatla who happens to be Smt. Sailaja's mother. Guru Smt. Sailaja Pullela conducted the Nattuvangam.

Smt. Sailaja deserves high praise for conducting the program in an aesthetically pleasing form, without any loose ends. Hard to believe that this is the first Kuchipudi Rangapravesam conducted by her. All the arrangements on stage and off-stage were very good. Congratulations to Akhila and her family for a very enjoyable afternoon.


Congratulations to Akhila and her family
Rao said…
Congrats akila........venkat vamsi and harini
Rao said…
congrats akila.......well done..!! keep it up.....Harini katakam