Workshop on Kuchipudi Yakshaganam daruvus
- Tadepalli Satyanarayana Sarma

December 9, 2014

Potti Sreeramulu Telugu Univerisity, Hyderabad, conducted a seminar cum workshop on Kuchipudi Yakshaganam Daruvus under the aegis of UGC grants from 17th to 29th November 2014. The very informative seminar was conducted by one of the scions of the Kuchipudi traditional families, Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar awardee, Chinta Ravi Balakrishna of Kuchipudi village.

Thanks to the coordinators of the workshop, Bhagavathalu Sethuram and Dr. Vanaja Uday, Head of Dance Department, instrumental for the program, the students and dance aspirants who attended benefitted a lot hearing about the uniqueness of Kuchipudi Yakshaganam. Bhagavathalu Sethuram also recalled the struggles and memories of his father Bhagavathalu Kottaiah in the areas under Nizam and Telegana to propagate Kuchipudi.

The seminar dealt in length with the various daruvus that are the essential part of Yakshaganam sampradayam, namely the Parvesa, Pravesika, Anthara, Samvada, Akshepana, Varnanathaka, etc. While all classical dances of India follow Bharata Muni’s Natya Sastra, when it comes to adhering to the thousands of slokas spread over 11 chapters, one can say that only Yakshaganam Sampradayam and Kathakali use all the aspects enumerated in the Natya Sastra. Kuchipudi Yakshaganam gives equal importance to literature as well as music while strictly adhering to all the aspects of Natya Sastra and other texts on dramaturgy. The students were really fortunate to hear other speakers too in the seminar.

Alekhya Punjala spoke about the impending need to learn Kuchipudi Yakshaganam because Kuchipudi itself is a dance drama tradition and without learning that one’s tryst with Kuchipudi art form is not complete. The valedictory function on 29th witnessed performance of Kuchipudi Yakshaganam daruvus by some of the student participants much to their delight for having a platform to perform what they had learned in the workshop. The audience included Vice Chancellor of Telugu University, Mr. E. Siva Reddy who opined that, “In Samskrutha Andhra literature hundreds of Yakshagana prasangas are observed and to cater to the contemporary thinking there is a need to have more Yakshagana productions adapted from the exisiting and carry forward the rich Yakshagana sampradayam.”

The students were thankful for the opportunity to learn aspects related to dauruvs as practised in Kuchipudi Yakshaganam and vouched that they would like to attend more such workshops and spread Kuchipudi Yakshaganam. The enthusiastic attempt by the dancers in performing the Kuchipudi Yakshaganam daruvus needs to be supplemented with such seminars / workshops, which is understandable, for all along they have learnt for solo performances and to shift to the requirement of a more challenging Kuchipudi Yakshaganam, they need to put more efforts in that direction.

Tadepalli Satyanarayana hailing from the traditional families of Kuchipudi village, is a Kuchipudi Bhagavathamelam artist and a research scholar.