UPLAND,CA-Nritya Sikhara Art Academy, Sumathy Kaushal’s School of Classical Indian dance celebrated 50 years by presenting Devi Vaibhavam on Oct 11 at the Highlander Auditorium here. Guest of Honor, Venkatesh Daggubati, well known Telugu actor was present to join in the celebration. Known for playing a variety of roles...
Known for her various performances in national and international events and locations, Kaushal spoke about the importance of classical dance. Additionally she stated that it was very important that future generations of Indians learn the art of classical dance and pass it on so the art form never dies.
The performance began with a Ganesh Stuti and invocation and a Kuchipudi invocation “Amba Paraku”performed by all the students.
A video presentation about Sumathy Kaushal, her history, and the institute she started in 1965 was screened.
Then came the main performance”Devi Vaibhavam” a dance ballet on the glory of the goddess in various forms :as a beautiful maiden getting married to “Neelakantha” in “Paarvati Kalyanam” and as a ferocious Shakti slaying demon “Mahishasura Mardini.”
After the recital , a ceremony to felicitate scholars and eminent personalities followed. Daggubati was the first to be recognized followed by Sunil Kothari, Indian dance historian, scholar, and critic. Vamsee Ramaraju founder of Vamsee Foundation which serves disabled children, Dr. Prasad Jee Reddy,Dr. Sankaram Jandhyala, ex-mayor of Vijayawada, India; and Dr. Rajyalakshmi Seth were also recognized. Seth is the first female student and the first assistant teacher to Nritya Sikhara as well as Kaushal’s sister. Those honored were given a shawl and a bouquet and asked to say a few words.
Daggubati handed out trophies to all of the participants.Breathless but never forgetting to smile, these girls performed a very challenging dance style with much ease. The night came to a close with everyone in attendance rushing on stage to meet the performers, Kaushal, and taking their once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Venkatesh Daggubati.