Hyderabad, June 2022: Nartanasala – an abode of ancient dance traditions of Andhra Natyam & Perini Sivatandavam founded by Ms Sunila Gollapudi to revive the rich art forms, is celebrating the centenary of the legendary Guru Bharata Kalaprapoorna Padmasri Late Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna, the doyen of Andhranatyam and recreator Perini Sivatandavam, by hosting a novel interpretation of Andhranãtyam’s traditional Navajanãrdhana Pãrijãtham, at Prasad Labs, today. Sunila Gollapudi, the Founder of Nartanasala and Managing Director, Accenture (India); presented the performance under the able guidance and choreography of her Guru, Abhinava Satyabhama ShriKala Krishna. The dance performance was followed by felicitation of ShriKala Krishna ceremony.
Dr Nataraja Ramakrishnagaru, with his diligent scholarly efforts revived Andhranatyam. Andhranatyam belongs to the Nattuva Mela tradition and is the ancient classical dance form of the Telugu regions (Telangana, Rayalaseema, and Andhra) that has been in vogue for the past 2000 years. Andhranatyam is a combination of Agama, Asthana, and Prabandha traditions, which a female artiste can showcase on the same stage and in the same performance. It is an Eka Patra Kelika, i.e., a solo performance.
Guru Shri Kala Krishna garu was the sole and the foremost disciple of Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna who went through explicit training on the nuances of Navajanãrdhana Pãrijãtham from great dancers likeAnnabathula Satyabhama and others. Since then, he not only has done complete justice to playing the “Satyabhama”, being titled “Abhinava Satyabhama” himself but also further researched on the multiple interpretations documented his Guru and trained thousands of students.
Navajanãrdhana Pãrijãtham (Shringara Drishya Divya Prabandham) a shringara rasa predominant solo dance ballet depicting an episode of love story between Lord Shri Krishna and his beautiful 8th wife Satyabhama which is as ancient as Gita Govindam. It belongs to the Prabhanda tradition of Andhranatyam which used to be performed in the nine Janardana temples of East Godavari Dt of Andhra Pradesh. It used to be performed for nine continuous nights either at various places or at a place itself either by one dancer or nine different dancers and was patronized by Pithapuram Rajas. It is as Ancient as Gita Govindam and is believed that one need not explicitly study the Bharata’s Natya Sastra if trained in Navajanãrdhana Pãrijãtham. While there are many versions depicted by Kuchipudi and others, this particular version is in Daasi Bhagavatham style where one dancer narrates the story and plays all the characters (eka patra Kelika).
Sunila Gollapudi, IT leader, author, trained classical vocalist, a painting artist and Managing Director at Accenture, spent over three decades learning the nuances, building expertise, performing and teaching Andhranatyam under the able guidance of her Guru Shri Kala Krishna. She founded her nonprofit banner Nartanasala in 2012 and has been involved in spreading the dance form along with her guru and fellow Andhranatyam and Perini dancers. She is performed over 400 shows nationally and internationally and has been involved with several philanthropic activities in the field of dance.
On the 4th of June, Sunila Gollapudi will perform a newer compilation of Navajanãrdhana Pãrijãtham. It starts with the dancer explaining what she would be performing (the story line) followed by the actual performance. Guru Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna garu compiled a version of the pranaya kalaham that includes daruvus written by various poets and Andhranatyam dancers have traditionally been performing for years. Guru Shri Kala Krishna worked on alternative contexts mentioned by his Guru and recompiled a new version through his research and trained Sunila. The performance will be blessed and witnessed by prominent personalities in the field of art and dance as all come together to felicitate Guru Shri Kala Krishna garu.
Abhinava Satyabhama ShriKala Krishna speaking on the occasion said, when Sunila came to me to perform this Navajanãrdhana Pãrijãtham, though I had apprehensions of she finding time to practice due to her tight schedule because of her professional challenges. She was keen and determined to perform today, though she was busy till early morning today. She wanted to pay her tribute to Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna, by performing this.
Present at the event were Smt. Vijaya Ramam, Visual & Performing Art Connoisseur, Mgmt Consultant, LV Prasad Institute; Smt. Mahe Jabeen, Feminist Poet, Human Rights Advocacy Lawyer; Shri. Gandham Shankara Rao, Researcher, Annamayya Literature; Shri “Kuchi” Saisankar, SVBC Chithragaanam Artist & Nandi Award Winner and Dr. Anupama Kylash, Kuchipudi & Vilasini Natyam Artiste & Scholar.