Elephanta Festival

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2011

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We present the Kuchipudi dance, a traditional form of Indian dance from the state of Andhra Pradesh. Artists are the respected Raja and Radha Reddy and Yamini / Bhavana Reddy. U see Yamini - Lord Shiva - The one who is adorned by the Chandra (half moon) on his head.

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation organised a 2 day Elephanta Festival (5&6th March) on Elephanta island. Combination of music and dance by renowed artists. We present pictures of day one. Lower level was stage and chairs. Higher up were these gaddas in white that u see.

It is about a 90 minute boat drive from Gateway of India to Elephanta island. We went early, spent one hour in the caves. Starts at sunset and finishes by about 10.30pm. U get snacks and dinner also. Boat drive back was super. U see the stage ie under a huge tree. Super enviornment.

"Through their togetherness and perfect unison Raja n Radha Reddy portray the masculine vigor lyrical charm of the pairs of Indian tradition eg Shiva- Parvati, Krishna-Radha thus identifying themselves with the twin concepts of Purusha n Prakriti, the male-female principle in Indian philosophy". To know more visit their site www.rajaradhareddy.com

Dancer is Yamini Reddy - Shivas bhavabhinaya meaning expressions. This picture and many others that bear his name are by Prasad Pandhare. Met him at the festival. Loved his pictures and he readily agreed to share. He is a professional photographer. U can contact him at 91 9920692188 or mail him [email protected]

Shivas bhavabhinaya meaning expressions. This dance orignated in Kuchipudi village of South India. For a long time it was presented by men and at certain temples in Andhra Pradesh.

Urdhvajnu Karana. In the 15th century a sage called Sidhhendra Yogi codified the movements n enriched the repertoire of this dance form. Kuchipudi was enriched by the advent of the female dancers.

Bhujangatrasita Karana. The Kuchipudi dancers are experts in Sattwika Abhinaya, Bhava Abhinaya. The charm of Kuchipudi lies in its fast and intricate footwork, sinuous grance and the use of eyes to express mood and feelings. The technque of Kuchipudi closely follows the tenets laid down in the `Natya Shastra`.

Dandakarecita Karana. Some narratives taken from www.kuchipudidanceacademy.org

Argalam Karana.

Nupura Karana.

Starting this picture u see the Navrasas or Nine Sentiments. U see Veeram or Valour.

U see Haasayam or Laughter / ridicule.

U see Kaarunyam or compassion.

U see Haasyam or laughter.

U see Bhayam or fear.

U see Bheebhatsam or disgust.

U see Raudram or anger.

Not sure what this expression is.

U see Shantam or peace.

Shiva dancing his Tandavam in ecstasy.

Latavrscika Karana.

Vrisckikarecita. With this ends pictures of Yamini Reddy.

Lord Krishna performing his Kaliya Nartan - dancing on the head of the mighty serpant Kaliya after defeating him. Artist is Bhavana Reddy.

Lord Krishna performing his Kaliya Nartan - dancing on the head of the mighty serpant Kaliya after defeating him. Artist is Bhavana Reddy.

Lord Krishna performing his Kaliya Nartan - dancing on the head of the mighty serpant Kaliya after defeating him. Artist is Bhavana Reddy.

Raja and Radha Reddy performing the Raasa-Vilaas of Lord Krishna.

Raja and Radha Reddy performing the Raasa-Vilaas of Lord Krishna. The duo are also one of the most sought after choreographers in the country.

Radha Reddy as Arjuna. The Reddys have a training school at Delhi and Hyderabad by the name NATYA TARANGINI.

Raja Reddy as Krishna and Radha Reddy as Arjuna in dialogue during the `geetopdesham` - when Lord Krishna shares the Holy Gita to Arjun during the battle between the Kauravas and Pandavas in the epic Mahabharat.

Arjuna distressed unable to fight his own kin.

Shri Krishna in his Viswa roop.

Shri Krishna in his Viswa roop. In precise postures and refined patterns the Raja-Radha Reddy duo re-enlivens the magnificent sculptures chiseled in the ancient temples of India.

Arjuna wielding his bow and preparing for battle.

Raja, Radha, Yamini, Bhavana Reddy performing the Tarangam, dancing on the rim of brass plate. When the dancer dances on the rim of brass plate all her earthly connections are broken and their prayers reach Ishwara directly.

U see Yamini Reddy performing the Tarangam.

Performing the Tarangam, dancing on the rim of brass plate u see front left Yamini, right Bhavana and behind left Raja right Radha Reddys. Note their feet on the brass plate and the tree in the background.

U see Yamini Reddy performing the Tarangam with respected Raja Reddy behind her. All of us were speechless after watching an o/s performance by the Reddy`s.

After the Kucchi pudi dance renowed and respected santoor player Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma treated us to his work. I went into a trance, different day and time. Panditji started by saying that India is lucky to have as part of heritage places like the Elephanta caves island where music can be enjoyed.

U see a friend Karthik Pai standing on the pavement just outside the festival area. If u go up u reach the caves, if u go down u walk towards the jetty from we took the boat for Mumbai. On either side of pavement are shops. Had a great trip. Recommend the festival to all lovers of Indian Culture and Nature.