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Natya Parampara Utsav 2020
- Sudha Sridhar

November 10, 2020

The seventh edition of the Natya Parampara Utsav was presented by Kuchipudi Parampara Foundation, Bengaluru, on October 31, 2020. Unlike the earlier editions, this year due to the current pandemic situation one of the much awaited festivals in the art calendar of the city of gardens, was streamed live on the Foundation's social media account.

Pasumarthi Keshavaprasad

Mamatha Karanth

One of the uniqueness of the Natya Parampara Utsav 2020 was it started with the song on Kuchipudi produced by the foundation - "Sammohana Kuchipudi." In every edition of the Utsav, the Foundation has been recognising and honouring the contributions made by the gurus from the Kuchipudi traditional families. This year, senior guru of Kuchipudi village, Pasumarthi Keshavaprasad, was honoured along with Bharatanatyam dancer Mamatha Karanth from Bengaluru.

This was followed with performances by Kuchipudi artistes Raktim Chanda, Padmaragini Puttu, Geetha Padmakumar and Anna Mashak from Russia adding an international flavour to the Utsav. The Foundation has also been showcasing apart from Kuchipudi, other classical art forms of the country in its annual Utsav and this year it was Gopika G Nath who presented Mohiniattam as the last performer of the evening. The

Raktim Chanda

Padmaragini Puttu

Raktim Chanda's performance of Vinayaka Stuti in Hamsadwani raga set to adi tala was the curtain raiser to the Utsav. This was followed with a tarangam on composition of Narayana Theertha's Srikrishna Leela Tarangini in Ragamalika set to adi tala. Both the items enabled the viewers to see new choreographies of Deepa Narayanan Sashindran with music by Sweta Prasad.

Geetha Padmakumar

The evening saw Kuchipudi legend Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam's choreographies performed by Padmaragini Puttu and Geetha Padmakumar. Padmaragini from Moscow performed Purandaradasa kriti "Gajavadana beduve" and Jayadeva ashtapadi "Sanchara dhadhara." Geetha from Kerala performed Muthuswami Dikshitar's Kamakshi stuthi and Annamacharya's "Paluku tenela thalli."

Anna Mashak

Gopika G Nath

The curator Deepa had in her initial remarks mentioned that this Utsav was dedicated to Kuchipudi exponent Sobha Naidu, whom we lost recently. Anna Mashak from St. Petersburg, Russia, performed a choreography of Sobha Naidu, 'Ganesha Pancharatnam' and followed it with a choreography of Guru C.R. Acharyulu's Mandodari Sabdam.

Gopika G Nath presented two choreographies of Mohiniattam Guru Nirmala Paniker, starting with a stuthi on Lord Ganesha followed with a small excerpt from Kumarasambhava, a Sanskrit kavya from the great poet Kalidasa. The chief guest Kuchipudi exponent Sailaja spoke a few words from Chennai and that brought down the curtains to the live streaming of the Utsav. The efforts of Kuchipudi Parampara Foundation to continue with the Natya Parampara Utsav with the same zest and enthusiasm speak volumes of the team headed by Deepa Narayanan Sashindran.

The connoisseurs of dance are left wondering what else is in store for the performers and viewers with regard to dance festivals. Initially, performance with live music was replaced with recorded music and now with recorded videos, the experience of watching live streaming is definitely a distant second to that of watching it live in person.

Sudha Sridhar, a double graduate in Law & Dance is a cultural activist working on advocacy efforts to preserve, promote and propagate art forms and for the cultural rights and welfare measures for artists. Her main focus is on Kuchipudi heritage village and promotion of all the three streams of South Indian Yakshagana - Karnataka Yakshagana, Kuchipudi Yakshaganam and Melattur Bhagavathamela.

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