P. Sujatha Varma
Prabhu Kumari Vanama gave a mesmerising performance.
SILKEN MOVES Prabhu Kumari during her performance.
It might have been mere entertainment for the audience in the jam-packed Tummalapalli Kshetrayyavari Kalakshetram. But for Prabhu Kumari Vanama, an exponent of various classical and folk dance forms, the concert was a kind of meditation.
Her concept of portraying emotions exuded a high degree of refinement. With perfect laya-tala sync, she enthralled the audience with her scintillating performance at a recent function organised to mark the silver jubilee celebrations of Sarada Kala Samithi.
Propagating dance as a sadhana - a mission to which she has dedicated her life, Vanama exudes divinity while performing before the audience. As a child, she displayed a clear flair for art and culture and began to show a keen interest in dance, music and musical instruments. Her cultural assignments range from Carnatic (classical) and Hindustani (light) vocal, Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi and folk dances to acting on stage and screen. She also plays harmonium, mridangam and tabla. Vanama had the privilege of learning Bharatanatyam initially from Nritya Shiromani Sumanthy Kaushal of Hyderabad, Kathak from Pundit Vijay Khankar of Kolkata and Kuchipudi from Bhagavantula Hanumantha Rao of Vijayawada. Besides, she also learnt the nuances of Kathak and folk dances from Anju Babu and Natya Gandharva Pundit Gopal of Hyderabad.
Her brilliant performances and tutelage under renowned gurus, coupled with encouragement by parents, brought her an invitation from the Doordarshan Kendra, Hyderabad, for telecast of her dance programme when she was just seven. Vanama learnt both Carnatic and Hindustani music from her mother, V.J. Prasuna, a playback singer.
She attributes the successful performance at the Kala Samithi function to teamwork - her guru Natana Sikhamani, singer Anuja, mridangam artiste Ganesh, flautist Raghavendra and violinist Sikkil Balasubramanian. In recognition of her talent, she was conferred the title Natya Shiromani.
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