Vyjayanthi Kashi is a well known Dancer, Choreographer, Dance Therapist, Researcher and Dance Guru of Bangalore. In addition to dance, theatre for her is the all-encompassing vehicle to express life itself in the richness of all its myths and rituals.
Well known as the dynamic force in Kuchipudi, a classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh, she steps to conquer unfettered by anything but dance. She is one of the few dancers from Bangalore who have mastered the Kuchipudi dance form.
Vyjayanthi’s journey into the world of Indian classical dance has taken her all over the world. She studied Bharatanatyam and later she specialized in Kuchipudi and Temple Ritual Dance under world-renowned gurus.
Vyjayanthi started learning dance at the age of six, beginning her training with Bharatanatyam but it was only after her marriage that she took up dance seriously, putting into it to the fullest extent her energy and creative thoughts.
Her early training was with Guru Ramanna in Bharatanatyam and later she specialized in Kuchipudi and Temple Ritual Dances under legendary gurus, – Late Guru C.R. Acharyalu, Late Guru Vedantham Prahlada Sharma, Padma Bhushan Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, Padmashree Vedantham Satyanarayana Sharma, Guru Korada Narasimha Rao and others. Later she also studied yoga and martial arts.
Vyjayanthi has expanded the revered and ancient Indian classical dance forms of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, making them appealing to the present, and with her institution, she has also been presenting contemporary dance style (keeping the classical base and using different presentation techniques).
She has conducted thought-provoking workshops, lecture-demonstrations, and paper presentations on subjects like ‘Dance – the divine force’, ‘Dance – a healing therapy’, ‘Dance, yoga and karanas‘ and ‘Dance therapy for physically and mentally retarded children’. She has performed in India, UAE, UK, Germany, Paris, Malaysia, SIngapore, Switzerland and some African countries. Through her choreography, she has conceived and executed dance-dramas for national and international festivals.
She has choreo-graphed mythological, historical, Sanskrit and contemporary ballets.
Some of her productions include:
Natyashastra – the ultimate, Kunti – the mother of Mahabharata, Srishti — creation Sapthapadi – the seven steps in a dancer’s life, Women of India – from Seeta to Mother Teresa, Bharath Utsav – a vision of Indian classical dance forms, Dashadipalaka Stuthi – ten directions of the world from the age-old Sanskrit manuscripts of the Vedas and many more.
One of Vyjayanthi Kashi’s specialization is Mayura Kautuam – Picturisation of a Peacock is a ritualistic dance from that was practised several decades ago by temple dancers. Guru C. R. Acharyalu inspired by the dancers who used to put rangoli in front of the temples several decades ago introduced this dance form. These dancers would put colours outside the temples, dance and draw pictures such as peacock, lotus and lion. Now only a few in the world can perform this ancient dance. Here colours are spread on the stage and a white frame is taken and a white cloth is tied on the frame and placed on the stage. Dancing on it, drawing patterns with her footwork, the dancer draws the picture of a peacock. The frame is then lifted and shown to the audience.
As artistic director and guru of the Shambavi School of Dance, she has groomed many dancers. She is also training many physically and mentally challenged children.
She is the recipient of the Kala Shree Award – 2002 from the Sangeeth Natak Academy.
She is an outstanding Artist of Doordarshan, a member of the Kuchipudi Textbook committee and more.
After twenty years in the field of dance, Vyjayanthi Kashi remains undaunted, vibrant and committed, with innumerable plans for the future such as building a dance institution in Bangalore on the lines of Kalakshetra or Kalamandalam, bringing to limelight the rich old style of Kuchipudi dance which merely exists in the present day, conducting workshops on Kuchipudi and many more.
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