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Delightful Performances by Laasika School of Dance: Natyopasana 2017

Laasika-in-3

Photos: Murali Santhana Photography

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By Vanshika Vipin Varma

HOUSTON: Houston audience was treated to an enjoyable dance fare by Laasika School of Dance as a tribute to its Artistic Director Pallavi Kumar’s Guru Dr. K.Uma Rama who passed away recently leaving a void in field of Kuchipudi dance. The recital featured an interesting combination of items in dance styles of Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi choreographed by Pallavi Kumar and her respective gurus on Sunday, January 8 at the Kaplan Theatre.

 Commencing with a traditional prayer song little laasika’s began the recital with Sacred Vedic Chants that are mainly prayers offering salutations to divine beings and guru’s performed by Charve Dhareneni, Deepika Munnangi, Kaivalya Kunadharaju, Sashya Madishetty, Shree Shodasi, Shriya Reddy, Sloka Arigipudi, and Uma Devireddy. These little laasika’s caught the attention of the viewers right from the start and it was heartfelt to see them performing with such precision and effortlessly, that goes on to say the tireless efforts made by teacher and students alike.

Artistic Director: Pallavi Kumar

Artistic Director: Pallavi Kumar

It was then followed by Gajavadana Beduve in Hamsadwani ragam by Divya Reddy and Sameera Goddanti, an invocatory item in Kuchipudi in praise of elephant faced god choreographed by Dr.Vempati Chinna Satyam. The following was a prayer written by Tulsidas Goswami glorifying Lord Rama and his characteristics. Saanvi Pullemla, Shaivi Reddy Moparthi, Simran Binnani, Uma Devireddy very ably danced to this song in praise of Dasharatha’s son and pleaded lord to reside in the lotus of their hearts.

 

Further, a Kouthvam and Alarippu was well presented by Anuhya Juturi, Ayushi Aggrawal, Nidhi Suraparaju, Priyanka Bhavani, Riya Madhugiri and Shruthi Ezhilarasan. Dancers using the peacock hand gesture depicted movements of the peacock and its wings in Alarippu format with artistic finesse and good synchronization.

Kuchipudi dancers Kamal Pullemla, Neha Achanta, Sivani Mallikarjuna, Soumya Devi Inampudi paid obeisance to Goddess Saraswati and depicted goddesses lotus like face, her beautiful smile and other divine qualities skillfully.

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Anuhya Juturi and Ayushi Aggrawal presented Dashavataram, a traditional item in Kuchipudi with aplomb. The pair made an impression in the audience with their synchronization of footwork and captivating poses depicting the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu who incarnated on earth from time to time to eradicate evil forces.

Little laasika’s just stood out in Rara Venu Gopabala item on account of striking costumes and by translating the mood into dance gracefully. Krishna’s paired with each gopika at the end of the song cheered the audience.

The second half of the show featured Laasika School of Dance, Artistic Director, Pallavi Kumar’s stellar kuchipudi performance done with precision and fluid grace. Pallavi’s elaborate explanation of each song with hand gestures that preceded every item earned the audience appreciation. She began with ‘Devi Stuti’ an item in praise of Devi. Pallavi excelled in facial expression in Annamacharya Keerthana “Yemoko” and did an excellent job switching to the role of heroine’s friend and heroine (Alamelumanga).

Tarangam, a central piece of Kuchipudi recital was the concluding item and the much awaited brass plate dance where Pallavi displayed footwork moving across the stage dancing to rhythm set to long spells of Jathis.

It was a feast to see dancers show finesse and grace in their dance and was a fitting tribute to Pallavi Kumar’s guru by budding talents of Laasika School of Dance.

The school currently offers Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi dance classes in Sugar Land and Katy locations. For further details reach Pallavi Kumar by visiting, www.pallavikumar.us or email her at laasikaa@gmail.com.

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