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A dance tale of compassion

Danseuse Yamini Reddy seeks to take Kuchipudi to the next level (Photo: Sandeep Saxena)

Danseuse Yamini Reddy seeks to take Kuchipudi to the next level (Photo: Sandeep Saxena)

by Ranee Kumar
Credited as a twinkled-toed young dancer of these times in the field of Kuchipudi, Yamini Reddy is all out to showcase her talent once again in Delhi, her home turf this time, with a solo performance.
Dancing for the HCL Concert series, which will be held at India Habitat Centre on June 9, the danseuse as usual has a unique theme up her sleeve. “I call it an Evening of story-telling,” she pauses expectantly waiting for a spontaneous question, “dance or story-telling?” Pat comes the answer: “Kuchipudi is an effervescent and unique art form which embodies nattuvamela and natya mela (pure dance and drama) and narrates a mythological story in the form of dance. This has been going on for ages without anyone realising the essence of this dance. I’m taking the traditional repertoire and highlighting the story (the Purana) enshrined within it.”
– Story of evolution –
The three distinct pieces Yamini would be presenting are the famed Dasavataram which unveils Darwin’s theory of evolution aeons before it was born, through the lore of 10 manifestations (avatar), viz. the amphibian to the human. The Tulsidas bhajan which follows will trace the story of Ramayana in a nutshell emphasising the desirable traits in a human being and the Rasa Shabdam– a very conventional, rhythmic piece of the Kuchipudi repertoire “reveals a story in the sanchari,” says the dancer and “this story is Gajendra Moksham where the crocodile pounces on the unsuspecting tusker who cries out in agony to the lord who in turn literally swoops down to save His devotee – here the elephant. The underlying essence of this parable is the creator’s immense compassion towards all living beings, not just humans.”
Her illustrious father Dr Raja Reddy’s choreography with her own inputs has been a learning experience to her since Yamini herself has risen to managing Natya Tarangini’s branch in Hyderabad where she lives with her family.
– Guiding budding dancers –
Going by the spate of dance performances, marriage and kids have not made any negative impact on her dance career. Yamini has been performing at many a festival at many places both at home and abroad and always with a smile!
“It has been 10 years since I’m imparting learning to young aspirants at the Hyderabad branch. Some days I wake up to a tough day ahead of me but that is just momentary. I will shirk away the initial reluctance to practise thinking of my mother Radha. She is my greatest inspiration. My gurus –father and mother –went through tougher times, weathering the storms that swept across their lives but never giving up on their determination to dance and making it big one day! I should say, they have given me a much more privileged life – my only commitment will be to dance and take their legacy forward. Personal upheavals are always there for every individual; it’s how you turn it into a positive and constructive force is what matters to move ahead and I’m one such,” she signs off as she gets set to go for her rehearsal. (-The Hindu)–

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