Festival of Kuchipudi Dance

Photo Gallery Video Excerpt

October 10, 2009
American Dance Institute, Rockville, MD

October 24, 2009
Kalanidhi Dance Studio, Bethesda, MD

November 8, 2009
Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington D.C.

Kalanidhi Dance organized ‘Samasta: Festival of Kuchipudi Dance – three dance events held over one month intended to explore three dimensions of the Kuchipudi dance form: movement, education and storytelling. A performance rooted in the Kuchipudi idiom by Kalanidhi Dance Company marked the festival’s beginning.

Next, Kuchipudi exponent and scholar, Jai Kishore Mosalikanti led a lecture/ demonstration on the historical evolution and development of Kuchipudi, fulfilling the festival’s commitment to education outreach.

The festival concluded, with the world premiere of Bhagmati, a Kuchipudi dance drama. Here, the theatre roots of the dance form were explored in a full-length production that depicted the true love story between a Muslim prince, Quli Qutb Shah, and a Hindu temple dancer, “Bhagmati’ in Mughal India.


“Having 30 dancers (albeit of uneven technical skill) gave Nehru the ability to open the production with a bustling street scene that cleverly introduced a host of characters, including street vendors and shy young girls, in a rapid-fire manner. Among those in the company who danced at a professional level, Kalyandurg and Silpa Nanan (Bhagmati) were among the strongest.

With the Washington area now the second-biggest Indian dance community in the United States, it is heartening to see that elaborate dance dramas like this are made possible by a growing pool of local, skilled classical Indian dancers.”

- The Washington Post

“This premiere show of ‘Bhagmati’ was a spectacular production of Kuchipudi dance drama in its contemporary form…. Anuradha Nehru deserves appreciation not only for her excellent first attempt producing a dance-drama, but one that involved two different cultures – Muslim and Hindu… the high standard of recording, excellent teamwork and superb dancing by the performers…. The use of Carnatic and Hindustani musical scores, a length of blue cloth to depict river Musi, the street scenes, etc were reminiscent of her guru’s touch and used judiciously…. It is hoped that Nehru will continue the good work she is doing.” – DC Diary

Maryland based Kuchipudi Kalanidhi are garnering a reputation as a “must see” company on the American dance landscape. Their latest production, the historical ballet ‘Bhagmati’ presented at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington DC on November 8, was an engaging example of the company’s blend of tradition and innovation in their work.”

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