An offering of thillanas to Dr. Balamurali Krishna
- B Venkat, Visakhapatnam
Pics: Jyothi Swaroop


July 18, 2010

Living legend Dr. Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna, celebrated his birthday in the City of Destiny, Visakhapatnam. Visakhapatnam celebrated his birthday in grand style, honoring him in a way never done before. Dr. Balamurali arrived at the Port Kalavani Auditorium in a horse drawn chariot and was received with full honors befitting a king. What followed was even grander. The organizing committee presented Kadambam, a feast of dance, music and literature over two days on the 6th and 7th of July 2010.

In the presence of Pujya Guruji Satguru Sri Kandukuri Sivananda Murthy, and of Member of Parliament from Visakhapatnam and Minister of State for HRD, Daggupati Purandeswari, felicitations were offered to the ever smiling Dr. Balamurali. As part of the celebrations, Kuchipudi dance performances were "offered" with love, respect and affection. Thillanas so synonymous with the celebrated musician, found their way into the hearts of the attendees. S Vijay Kumar won special appreciation for his organizing skills.
Kuchipudi Kalaakendra presented 'Jaya Ragamalika' with eleven dancers. The choreography by Guru AB Balakondala Rao symbolized the achievements of Dr. Balamurali. As if to indicate how "Bala Murali" mesmerized his audiences all over the world spreading his name and fame in all four directions, four Bala Krishnas demonstrated Kuchipudi skills beyond their age. "Balakka" as Bala Kondala Rao is lovingly called, performed too, but in the form of Aditya Bulli Brahmam, her son. His meticulous footwork so characteristic of thillana items, literally spoke the notes. Six other dancers adorned the stage and symbolized the six seasons celebrating the Balamurali composition in Balakka's choreography. Vasavi, Vandhita, Aparna, Sraddha, Sri, Nimilika coordinated perfectly with each other. Sadhana, Meghana, Varsha, and Sravanthi played the little Krishnas.

That was followed by a breathtaking 'Brindavana Sarangi' thillana from Dr. Vempati Kuchipudi Kalakshetra. Four of the dancers from Kalakshetra perfectly adept with their style and footwork, endeared themselves to the audience by starting their presentation, offering flowers to the legend. The fast paced dance composition by Y Hanumantha Rao, one of the faculty members of the reputed institute, stood out for the meticulous synchronization of the dancers, almost matching step to step, to every mudra and stance. The intelligent composition for "murali madhuri" in the thillana reminded of the beauty of the musician's melody. The quartet ended the item in style in a perfect sculpted group stance. The performance by Sannidha, Nivedita, Kiranmayi and Varshita was scintillating.