Dr. Raja and Radha Reddy along with their two daughters enthralled audiences at the recent Elephanta Music Festival held at the world heritage site, Elephanta Caves. Situated on the Gharpuri Islands off the coast of Mumbai and a good ninety minute boat ride away. The festival made its comeback after a gap of two years.
The world renowned dancing couple Dr. Raja and Radha Reddy gave a new dimension to the age old art of Kuchipudi dance without sacrificing the traditional poetry or dramatic sensibility. With rare excellence and perfection of technique they earned the credit for Kuchipudi’s high ranking today, among the major dance forms of India. They hail from the state of Andhra Pradesh, the birthplace of Kuchipudi style of Indian classical Dance.
Through their togetherness and perfect unison, Dr. Raja and Radha Reddy portrayed the masculine vigor and lyrical charm of the pairs of Hindu mythology such as Shiva-Parvati, Rama-Sita and Krishna-Radha, thus identifying themselves with the twin concept of Purusha and Prakriti, the male- female principle in Indian philosophy. In precise postures and refined patterns the duo recreated the magnificent sculptures chiseled in the ancient temples of India.
The unique art of Raja and Radha Reddy found befitting official recognition through the many awards. They created history by becoming first couple to receive individually and simultaneously the Padma Shree and PADMA BHUSHAN and the prestigious Sangeet Natak Award. They have had the honour of participating in International Dance Festivals such as the Avignon in France, Salzburg in Austria, Edinburg in Scotland, Festival of India in USA , South America, South Africa, Europe and so on. They were invited to declare open the “Play House Theatre” in Durban, South Africa for general public with their inaugural Kuchipudi performance, and also had the privilege of representing India as the star attraction of the All-star Ballet Gala festival in Japan.
Dr. Raja, Radha and Kaushalya Reddy along with their daughters Yamini and Bhavana, in the true style of Guru-Shishya parampara are engaged in passing on their art to the younger generation at their institution NATYA TARANGINI in New Delhi and Hyderabad. All in all, the Reddy family stole the show at the magnificent Elephanta Caves. Hopefully an encore will take place soon!!
Post from Hector D'Souza of L'Orient Travels, Mumbai, e-mail: email@example.com
Photo of Indian dancer copyright Anne Gordon