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Keeping the Indian Dance Tradition

Kuchipudi is a Classical Indian dance form from Andhra Pradesh, a state of South India. It derives its name from the village of Kuchelapuram, a small village about 65 kms from Vijaywada. It is known for its graceful movements and its strong narrative / dramatic character. Kuchipudi dancing is a 1,000-year-old dance ritual born in Andhra Pradesh, deriving itís name from a village there. Dancers often play Hindu gods and act out stories for their audiences. Siddhendra Yogi is said to be the first scholar to give it the current form of dance drama. Bhamakalapam is one of his celebrated compositions. He also reserved the art to males by teaching it to young brahmin boys of the village. However, in modern times, the art has been dominated by women.

Some of the well known people in this tradition are Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, Guru Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao Vedantam Lakshminarayana, Dr. Uma Rama Rao, Tadepalli Perayya, Chinta Krishna Murthy, Vedantam Sathya Narayana Sarma, Sobha Naidu, Pasumarthi Venu Gopala Krishna Sarma, Raja Reddy and Radha Reddyswagath kuchipiudi,Yashoda Thakore and Sarala Kumari Ghanta.The prominence of Kuchipudi dance form is not limited to India alone.There are now a number of popular Kuchipudi teachers, choreographers and dancers in many parts of the world. Siliconandhra, a California-based organization formulated the plan for the massive 3-day Kuchipudi Convention in Cupertino, CA from June 20th to 22nd. Over 2,500 artists from allover the globe attended the three day event, cutting across nearly 5 generations of living legends to learners onto one stage. The dancers assembled Saturday at the behest of Anand Kuchibhotla, 46, a Silicon Valley Internet start-up company vice president, who says he grew up with kuchipudi dancing in his home state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India.

Director, Culture R. Kavitha Prasad, "the objective of the convention is to enable Kuchipudi dance form get an international status, introduce Kuchipudi stalwarts from India on a single platform to the Telugus abroad and inspire young Kuchipudi students there. Dancers flew in from Russia, India, Singaore, Germany, England, Canada, and came from all over the United States. They flocked to Cupertino not only to set a world record but for the world's first international three-day kuchipudi convention, organized by Kuchibhotla's group, Silicon Andhra." Department of Culture and Telugu University have extended their support for the mega three-day event. Infact this is a "Mahayagnam". Several American senators, Mayors, and Congress members participated in the procession organised as per Telugu culture and traditions. A special dance ballet with 400-members under the direction of Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam added a major attraction on the inaugural day was also witnessed by Guinness Book of World Records representatives, UK and set a world record for largest 'Kuchipudi dance' performance.

As a treat with profound awe renowned Kuchipudi exponents like Pasumarthi Gopalakrishna, Vempati Chinna Satyam, Vedanta Satyanarayana Sharma, were honoured as part of the event. The convention was marked by lecture-cum-demonstrations, performances related to Kuchipudi dance form like Yakshaganas. Renowned Kuchipudi danseuse Shobha Naidu said Kuchipudi convention would help create awareness. Mr.Kuchibhotla said anyone is invited to try to beat the Cupertino dancing numbers, but he warned that Guinness will have a new entry at the next kuchipudi convention, planned for December 2010 in India.

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