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EXTRAVAGANZA atop hill



Students of Kuchipudi Kalakshetram presenting a dance recital as part of the New Year celebrations atop Kailasagiri. Photos: C.V. Subrahmanyam.

The picturesque Kailasagiri hill, with the imposing statues of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathi, played perfect host to the cultural extravaganza jointly organised by the Daspalla Group of hotels and Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority on the New Year Day.

Connoisseurs had a great evening savouring the Telugu ghazals belted out by the wellknown ghazal singer, Srinivas, and Kuchipudi dance performances by various troupes and a special item by Ramalakshmi, a student of Sadhana School.

The august gathering sat glued to their seats, unmindful of the wintry chill, through the two-and-a-half-hour programme. Ghazal Srinivas's "Devathalantha okavaipu... amma oka vaipu... " bringing out the importance of a mother, "Undo ledho swargam, na punyam na kicchei... Undo ledho punyam, na balyam na kicchei... " brought out the significance of childhood and "Bhayam... bhayam" was a reflection of fear in man's life. Srinivas makes his ghazals are all the more livelier by explaining the significance of the songs so that even a layman could understand their beauty. C. Narayana Reddy and Rentala composed the lyrics for many of the songs sung by him.



Ghazal Srinivas

The students of the Kuchipudi Kalakshetram presented four items beginning with `Vinayaka vandanam'. The `Jagadananda karaka' in Nata ragam in Tyagaraja pancharatna kruti and the `Sankranti hela', scripted by R. Sadasiva Murthy, presented by P. Hari and his troupe, caught the attention of the audience.

The highlight of the evening was the `Jaladeep' dance by Ramalakshmi in which she demonstrated 20 yogasanas, while precariously balancing a glass half-filled with water on her forehead. At one stage she picked up the glass with her knee joints, amidst applause from the gathering. She exhibited remarkable fitness, concentration and balance.

The programme was compered by Perala Balamuralikrishna.



Some of the visitors enjoying the bonfire.

Apart from the cultural feast, the Daspalla Hotel arranged snacks for the visitors at nominal rates. A bonfire was also lit for the guests to keep themselves warm and some of the guests took turns around the fire towards the end of the programme. A grand fireworks display was another highlight of the event.

It was the first time that VUDA has joined hands with a private hotel for organising a programme for the people atop the Kailasagiri. The event was open to all, and motorists were also not charged any toll at the foothill.

B. Madhu Gopal

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