The great artistes and legends, Raja and Radha Reddy learned choreography in the 1960’s. The Reddys were amongst the twenty two star dancers from across the world who were invited to perform at The All Star Ballet Gala Festival. They are also the recipients of Padma Shree and Padma Bhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi and Nritya Choodamani Awards. The ‘Parampara Series’- National Festival of Music and Dance, which is conducted just before the withering autumn, has stood firm for the last 19 years and is now synonymous with Delhi’s annual cultural scene. Over time, ‘Parampara’ has blended concerts by presenting classical geniuses under creative themes giving uniquely fresh approach to otherwise traditional arts forms.
What do you have to say about the westernised dance forms? Do you think that India is losing out in its traditional dance forms?
Each dance form has its own beauty. Be it classical or Western, each form represents the culture and ethos of a particular region or a group of people. The presentation of Indian dance styles in films, has exposed the range of dance forms in India to a global audience. We don’t copy from international dancing styles like salsa, jazz or any other. Our style of dancing is original and graceful. India is not losing out in its traditional dance forms. In earlier times dancers just showcased their talents. But now, with time, the styles of dancing have evolved such that there is more of showing-off instead of putting forth the actual talent.
With experience spanning over more than five decades, what do you think is the most needed factor in practising such dance forms?
Dance and music are of great importance to the culture of India. Both arts are extremely old and have close links not only with each other but also with religion. In my opinion, if a person wants to learn the actual dance forms then he or she must always learn from the gurus. You cannot learn through media by watching videos on television or on YouTube. guru shishya parampara should be followed which means a guru should be everything for his shishya and every student must follow his or her guru.
What do you have to say about the young talent of your institute?
Natya Tarangini, our institute in Delhi, is popular globally. Here, we not only teach students our style of dancing but we also groom them into beautiful people, teach them about the values, our great heritage and how to respect elders. They also learn the art of carrying themselves as confident citizens of our country.
Do you see a decline in number of students interested in the classical dance forms?
No. Lots of children come to our institute. I feel that students are developing more interest in classical dance forms these days.
How would you describe your journey so far?
Established 30 years ago, Natya Tarangini is like our child that has now grown into something much bigger. We sacrificed a lot in our times and our hard work paid off. Today, our names have become synonymous with Kuchipudi.
Please tell us something about your upcoming performance in the 20th edition of ‘Parampara Series’.
We hand pick our artistes. We believe in quality and bring great artistes to the stage so that more and more Rasikas (Art lovers) can enjoy and appreciate the varied, beautiful forms of art. This year, we will showcase performances of the younger generation - by Yamini and Bhavana Reddy, who are also Kuchipudi dancers.