On 30th August, all roads led to Kamani Auditorium for the inauguration of the 23rd Parampara Dance and Music Festival organized by Raja and Radha Reddy's Natya Tarangini institute. Organized for the past 22 years, it features top dance gurus and musicians showcasing their disciples in terms of Parampara, in terms of how tradition is passed on from generation to generation, to present great gurus like Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra in Odissi and Pandit Birju Maharaj in Kathak and their recent new disciples in respective dance forms.
I had not attended the Parampara Festival for past four years as I was touring. Raja, Radha and Kaushalya Reddy have over the years earned lot of goodwill with a large following in the capital. They have trained for past 40 years, hundreds of students in their institution. Therefore when I saw the turnout of the audience I was further impressed at the disciplined way they were seated and there was pin drop silence. Normally, my experience is of a noisy crowd when the admission is free. The arrangements for inviting the audience Kaushalya informed me, was that they have a good data base and they collect the passes online and attend in large number. That was heartening.
After the usual lighting of the lamp and Raja's own announcement about Bharat Bharati, the latest choreography dwelling upon the eternal values that are found in our sacred texts and in Bharatamuni's Natyashastra, the group choreography opened up with traditional Rangapuja as is seen in Kuchipudi, the young dancers sprinkling the water to sanctify the stage. Then entered a bevy of apsara like young maidens holding plates in their hands and started decorating the place, performing to shlokas and created an atmosphere of devotion. Raja and Radha dressed in normal clothes appeared on stage, explained through dance the evolution of Natyashastra, how from four Vedas it was created as fifth Veda.
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