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Yamini Reddy’s spellbinding Kuchipudi performance at Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav

Kuchipudi Dancer Yamini Reddy illuminated the stage with her captivating dance performance on the fourth day of the esteemed 69th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav 2023, held at the Maharashtriya Mandal Krida Sankul in Mukund Nagar, Pune. The Mahotsav, a revered haven for music enthusiasts, witnessed the enchanting artistry of Yamini Reddy during the second half of the event.

Ms. Yamini's dance recital commenced with the evocative rendition of  'Vakra Tunda,' setting the tone for a mesmerizing performance. Subsequently, she presented a graceful dance invoking the blessings of goddess Saraswati through 'Saraswati Vandana.' She adeptly delved into the intricacies of Kuchipudi, skillfully portraying the nava rasa (nine emotions) and the five rhythms of Shiva Tandavam. 

Her flawless expressions, rhythmic footwork, and poised demeanor impeccably brought out the Kuchipudi dance style's dramatic essence. It was revealed that this intricate dance and drama performance had been a legacy in her family, with her father performing for over five decades and Ms.Reddy continuing the tradition with utmost precision. The performance unfolded to the melodic notes of Raag Paras, set on Adi Taal.

Her next enchanting performance showcased her artistry in interpreting Saint Tulsidas' Bhajan, 'Bhaj Mana Ram Charan Sukhdai.' This composition is, often sung by the legendary Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi served as a narrative thread for Yamini as she depicted the tales of the Indian Epic Ramayana in her dance as narrated by Tulisdas in his composition.  

The grand finale of her performance featured the rare and mesmerizing Shiva Tarangam, which she performed on the edge of a brass plate, a unique feature of the Kuchipudi dance style. The performance reached its crescendo, with Raag Sourashtra providing the melodic backdrop.

Yamini Reddy was accompanied by a stellar ensemble of musicians, including Guru Kaushalya Reddy on Nattuvangam, Dr. Aditi Sharma Garg with Hindustani Vocal, D V Ravikanth with Carnatic Vocal, Manohar Bhalchandra on Mridangam, VSK Annadurai on Violin, and Azaruddin Shaikh on Flute.

A three-time National awardee, Yamini Reddy, stands as a proud torchbearer of the illustrious legacy inherited from her parents, the renowned Kuchipudi dancers Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan Dr. Raja and Dr. Radha Reddy. Without any doubts, the audience was treated to a visual and spiritual feast as the performance unfolded as a seamless blend of tradition, skill, and artistic expression.

Edited by: Soumya Parija

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