VYJAYANTHI KASHI (Kuchipudi)
'Vyajayanthi Kashi has been described as somewhat of an iconoclast for her bold experimenation'. (Michelle M. Sellassie, Ethiopia, 1998)
'Vyjayanthi Kashi came as a whiff of fresh air from Bangalore to present entirely new items... 'Kunti Vijayam' was the most outstanding...the story from the Mahabharata... was portrayed poignantly and convincingly. Vyjayanthi got herself transformed into the epic woman. What was noteworthy was the highly stylised manner in which Abhinaya was resorted to in the varying moods raising from anguish to expectation.' Subbudu, 1997
'Vyjayanthi Kashi of Bangalore presented a gripping Kuchipudi fare...which had more to offer than the customary Krishna Sabdam, Tarangam and Bhama Kalapam syndrome...Vyjananthi backs excellent grasp over classical grammar with sensitive abhinaya and lilting grace.' Leela Venkataraman, The Hindu, 1997
'One of the top ranking exponents of Kuchipudi natya and this year's Karnataka Sangeetha Nrithya Academy Awardee Vyjayanthi Kashi reached the acme of her talent and expertise during her recital... the typical racy character of the style and the vachika abhinaya were intact. Vyjayanthi utilised all her gifts of an agile body, inborn and acquired knowledge and total dedication to get the best of results.' M. Surya Prasad, The Hindu, 2002
'What is so special about her dance style? She is totallly uninhibited. She identifies herself with the role that she is portraying and brings out the total import of that personality. Take, for example, the role of Satyabhama, the vainglorious consort of Lord Krishna. It would be more appropriate to say that Satyabhama appeared as Vyjayanthi instead of the reverse. Bewitching to the core, she would entice and cast a spell over the audience. Every inch of her anatomy would bubble with emotion describing the longing for the blissful company of Krishna.' Subbudu
|' To see this dynamic performer on stage made one a part of history, where all that is important is not the dance or the dancer, but the art of dance itself....she gave and audience took...the transportation of the audience in a world of perfect beauty was achieved through stylised movements, intricate footwork, moving abhinaya or mime acting and, of course through beautiful costumery. We look forward to more such rare presentations.' Tapati Chowdhurie, Calcutta|
EARLY YEARS AND GURUS
Her supple limbs took to Bharata Natyam at the age of ten, under the expert tutelage of Guru Ramana. In her quest to learn more in her field, she took to Kuchipudi as she rightly felt that it provided more scope and sweep to her unbridled talents, taste and temperament. She specialized in the old and new schools of Kuchipudi under the tutelage of world-renowned Gurus like the Late Vedantham Prahlada Sarma, Padmabhushan Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam and Bharath Kala Prapoorna Karada Narasimha Rao. Her training in Abhinaya has enhanced her classical grounding by the greats in the art such as Dr. Nataraja Rama Krishna and Dr. Kalanidhi Narayanan. She is also specialized in the temple ritual dance forms from late Guru C.R. Acharyalu. Vyjayanthis forte is not confined to dancing and acting alone. She is well known as the dynamic force in Indian Dance theatre. She has set out to explore herself to the fullest and to test the limits of her multiple talents as a dancer , choreographer, therapist, researcher, guru, organizer and actress.
She has to her credit more than a 1000 performances in India and abroad. One of Vyjayanthi's specialty is the Mayurakautam or picturisation of peacock, a ritualistic dance form practiced several years ago by the temple dancers (performed by only a few dancers today). In her most dramatic roles, she has portayed the woman as a victim of her time, her society, her family and her man.
Her concept of choreography highlights both statement and visual aesthetics in a total theatre experience that is stimulating and incisive. But Vyjayanthis raison dêtre is in the spirit of creation and a genuine need to express the creative energy, transcending all polarizing barriers. Through her daring and original choreography, she has elegantly and efficiently conceived and executed dance dramas for national and international festivals
Using the beautiful medium of dance, she works with physically and mentally challenged children and adults to improve their confidence and well being through workshops and dance productions. She is working as a dance therapist and consultant artistic director at various institutions.
She holds a fellowship from the Government of India in Kuchipudi and continues with her research on "Influence of Yakshagana on the Solo Kuchipudi Repertoire". She contributes articles on her chosen subject. Vyjayanthi has conducted thought- provoking workshops, lecture demonstrations in India, U.A.E., Malaysia, Ethiopia, and other countries.
She has groomed some of the finest dancers who have emerged from Bangalore. She tries to instil in them a commitment and zeal not only for dance but also dance- related activities.
As a founder and artistic director of Shambavi School of Dance-Bangalore she organizes festivals, competitions, workshops, seminars and dance drama productions.
Vyjayanthi Kashi is one among the very few who has taken ART as her lifes work. She is a worthy scion of the renowned stage actor, Dr Gubbi Veeranna. She is also a gifted thespian and is not new to Kannada theatre. She has over the years significantly contributed to theatre as an actress. Vyju, as she is popularly known, has played many dramatic roles and is fortunate to have worked under the direction of great theatre personalities like Shri Nagabharana, Shri R. Nagesh and C.G.Krishna Swamy. She has played the lead roles in Dr Chandrashekar Kambars Sangya Balya, Sannevesha, Yayathi, Goodu, Savvu. She also figures regularly in prominent roles in Doordarshan. Her solo virtuoso performances in Dr Girijammas Benki Hoova, a telefilm, won her the prestigious ARYABHATA AWARD for best actress in 1998. She was the heroine in the award-winning art film KITAPATHI. For Vyjayanthi, the theatre is an all-encompassing universal vehicle to express life in the richness of all its myths, maya and rituals.
Vyjayanthi Kashi's website: www.schoolofkuchipudi.com