Click here for all links

Social media links

Kuchipudi by Gururaju
- Abhinaya Nagajothy

December 24, 2021

Gururaju from Bangalore, disciple of Guru Vyjayanthi Kashi, performed Kuchipudi at Delhi's India International Centre as a part of Winter Festival of Dance and Music on 16th December 2021 in Deshmukh Auditorium.

Kuchipudi by Gururaju

The performance started with purvarangam that visualised the pre-performance ritual on stage. The reverberating voice of Guru Vyjayanthi Kashi explaining the context of each piece although recorded was effective for the audience not only to catch attention but also created curiosity towards the one hour show. Gururaju began this traditional piece by performing the customary pooja of panchabhoota. He started with sprinkling of holy water using mango leaves followed by a basic Kuchipudi jathi which was simple yet reflected the Guru's style well. Each of the elements shown followed the same pattern. What was interesting was agni in khanda nadaka where he brought in the karpoora harati that elevated the dramatic nature of Kuchipudi. This was followed by Angikam bhuvanam yasya vachikam sloka from Nandikeswara's Abhinaya Darpanam explaining how chaturvidha abhinaya are part of Lord Nataraja himself. Then a sloka dedicated to Guru, Gururbrahma Gururvishnuhu was presented finally ending with sabha kalpa tarur of Abhinaya Darpanam presented in a picturesque beauty of Kuchipudi style.

Gururaju chose Ganesa Kirthanam as his second piece which is not a commonly performed number for the Delhi audience. This was a composition of Narayaṇa Tirtha, a saint poet quintessential to Kuchipudi making this piece closely identified to its metaphysical and choreography aspects to the dance form. The use of chenda in the music elevated the performance manifold and marked the brilliance of choreography and conceptualisation. This piece ended with Gururaju depicting the breaking of coconut for Ganesha under the right amount of evocative lighting that enhanced the emotion of bhakti.

Ramayana Sabdam set to Mohana ragam and adi talam was a very brisk and lively piece of the Kuchupidi repertoire. The audience enjoyed the swift footed style of Kuchipudi in this piece. Firmly stable to rhythm, Gururaju's performance showed the life of Lord Rama from birth to coronation. Sandhya Tandavam was outstanding and a new element added to Kuchipudi performance seen in the north. Gururaju proved his mettle as a dancer in this energetic choreography of Sandhya Tandavam of his Guru. Here karanas like Bhujangatrasita were depicted.

He ended with a short performance of traditional Nila megha sharira Tarangam set to Mohana ragam and adi talam. Noticeable elements of this item were during Kalabha sundara gamana - instruments like tavil, udukku/damaru etc were used that added to the performance. It ended with a vision of Krishna to the dancer. This choreographic idea was very well received by the Delhi audience.

Abhinaya Nagajothy
Abhinaya Nagajothy, Kuchipudi artiste and researcher from JNU, is the disciple/daughter of Gurus Seetha Nagajothy and P. Nagajothy.

Click here for all links
Reviews | Home | About | Address Bank | News | Info Centre | Featured Columns