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Website launched to revive interest in the rich art forms of Telugus!

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Hyderabad, February 2021: To revive the interest and encourage patronizing of the ancient Indian classical dance form of the Telugu speaking people – Andhranatyam, an official website- andhranatyam.org, was formally launched amidst lots of fanfareand fervor at an online event attended by art and culture enthusiasts, especially the admirers of the traditional Andhranatyam dance form, from across the globe. Esteemed guests’ Dr KV Ramana Chary (IAS Retd.), Hon. Advisor, Govt of Telangana; Shri Chennuru Anjaneya Reddy; Former Chairman & MD, AP Tourism Development Corporation; Shri Nalinimohan Denduluri, IFS, Principal Conservator of Forest & Chief Secretary AP State Biodiversity Board and Shri Deenababu Kondubhatla, President & Dean Silicon Andhra, Sampada; formally unveiled the website amidst applause from the global audience, today. Also present were Ms Sunila Gollapudi, Facilitator & Organiser of andhranatyam.org; Acharya Abhinava Satyabhama Shri Kala Krishna; Dr Suvarchala Suresh, a PhD in Dance; Bandi Perini Kumar; Dr Padma Mohan Denduluri, and other eminent gurus and torch bearers of Andhranatyam and Perini.

Andhranatyam has a rich historical significance panning as many as 2000 years. Originally called Lasya Nartana and practiced only by temple dancers, this vibrant style of the Telugu people is popularly called Andhranatyam. Besides temple dancing, court dances by courtesans known as "Kalavantulu" and open-air performances for the general public known as kalapam constitute Andhra Natyam.

The most vigorous proponent of this dance form has been the renowned guru Padmashri Bharata Kalaprapoorna Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna, doyen of Andhranatyam and recreator of Perini SivaTandavam. Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna worked tirelessly to give the telugu clan a style of dance that is distinct from Kuchipudi. This year, the golden jubilee celebrations of the naming of Andhranatyam have filled the air and as a part of these celebrations, a core group of Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna garu’s disciples came together to launch a formal website hosting the history and details of Andhranatyam and Perini.

Dr KV Ramana Chary garu, speaking on the occasion said,Dr Nataraja Ramakrishnamade enormous contribution to Andhranatyam and Perini and is a doyen of these dance form and Telugu culture, the Telugus for generation will be indebted to him for his contribution to these dance forms and reviving them. The onus is now on Shri Kala Krishna, the disciple of Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna, to take this tradition forward and popularize and promote in both the Telugu states. With the launch of this website, the information it provides on these traditional dances will be of great use to the current and future generations, thereby keeping the tradition live for generations to come.

Shri Chennuru Anjaneya Reddy garu said, South India’s love for dance and song is as old as Baratha’s Natya sastra, which makes a mention of it. Telugu country has been the home for several traditions from ancient times. Our dance traditions can be divided into two broad groups, Nattuva Mela and Natya Mela, the first is the exclusive preserve of women dancers, the second includes Yakshagana and dance dramas, which essentially had story telling traditions in which both men and women participated. We would have lost our classical dance traditions but for the efforts of Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna, who dedicated his life to learning them from the former narthakis and adopting them to the modern stage. If we can revive the tradition of dancing in the bigger temples on weekends and festive occasions, it will give an experience of our temple culture to the current generation. We can also refine the secular dances and adopt them to the modern stage. Andhranatyam belongs to both the Telugu states. Let us celebrate these dance forms and preserve them for posterity. Happy to see the disciples of Shri Nataraja coming forward to start this website and make available all the information about these school of dances at one place, thereby continuing the interest among young dancers.

Shri Nalinimohan Dendulurisaid, happy to hear about this website being developed by the disciples of Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna on Andhranatyam. The need for a website was always felt to promote this wonderful tradition of Lasya dance form and I appreciate the team for the initiative to preserve this art form. This will go a long way in helping the students, researchers and common people to understand the intricacies of this art form.

Shri Deenababu Kondubhatlasaid, this is a historic event, the launch of a website on Andhranatyam. The website will provide authentic and comprehensive information about Andhranatyam. The great legend Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna garu dedicated his life to revive this great traditional art form. This website will provide lot of information for aspiring dancers, this will be the single source of information to know more about Andhranatyam. It’s our responsibility to make sure our next generation utilizes this information and takes the tradition forward.

Shri Kala Krishnasaid, Andhranatyam is very ancient and has been there since the time we built our temples. It was revived 50 years ago by guru Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna. We want to popularize this rich art form and this website will give the impetus. The students and performers came under a single umbrella to provide all the knowledge and authentic information in a single website to popularize the dance in Andhra and Telangana.

The launch of the website marks a great start and will be a reference to some extraordinary work done by great art minds and will serve as a source of inspiration and reference to the future generations. We have tremendous energy in terms of contributions and choreographies from all young and upcoming Andhranatyam and Perini dancers and we believe this website will be an authentic launch pad. It has more than 60 profiles of senior dancers and teachers from all over the world along with their contact details in the website and more will be added along with the constant updating of information on the dance forms itself,says Sunila Gollapudi, who was instrumental in conceiving and building the website with the help of a core group of senior dancers in US and India. The website also has details of the courses on Andhra Natyam being offered by Telugu University and Silicon Andhra, the curriculum and how to apply for them. It has blogs with contributions by some of the artists. Subscribe to the website to get latest updates, she said.

The primary objective of the website, andhranatyam.org, is to provide authentic and first-hand information about Andhranatyam, it’s unique repertoire of Agama, Asthana and Prabandha Nartanam traditions, Perini and its constitution. The first version of the website being published on the auspicious day of Ratha Saptami, February 19th and a grand global online launch party is scheduled at 7 PM IST / 8 30 AM ET.

The Website provides comprehensive information on Andhranatyam including:

1. Complete History of Andhranatyam & Perini, it’s antiquity, the historical evidence, the temples in the three Telugu speaking states that had dance as a part of their ritual, inscriptional, sculptural and literary references along with the dancers of the 20th century who played a key role in coming out to revive the traditional repertoire. The history behind its revival and abhinaya sadassu.

2. A brief explanation of the key differentiating factors with other female oriented dance forms.

3. A detailed information on Agama, Asthana and Prabandha nartanam traditions and its composition.

4. A detailed information on the research, choreographies, publications, life works in dance of Padmashri Bharatakalaprapoora Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna garu, the doyen of Andhra Natyam., along with a detailed information about the revival of Perini, the warrior dance and its historic references.

5. Biographies and works of the key Gurus and torch bearers of Andhranatyam along with a reference to all their publications and choreographies.

6. A reference to all the dedicated dancers across the globe along with their short biographies and related dace qualifications.

7. A reference to Andhra Natyam and Perini teachers and dance institutions across the globe.

8. Blogs and articles from the artists.

9. Information on current &past events, media, press releases and official social media channel

10. A reference to Universities and Institutions offering courses in Andhra Natyam.

11. An icon to subscribe to the website to receive all the updates.

12. There will be a monthly and real-time event updates made available on an on-going basis.

Launching the website has been a humongous initiative actioned by the ardent Andhra Natyam and Perini followers, dancers, Gurus and well-wishers. A lot of them invested enormous time and effort in collecting authentic information and include among other, Shri Kala Krishna, Smt. Dr. Suvarchala Devi, Shri Perini Kumar, Kum. Satwika Penna, besides the large number of active dancers who contributed articles and activity, working towards enhancing the website.

Kum. Satwika Penna gave the vote of thanks. 

Updated on February 21, 2021