Kuchipudi dancer Sandhya Raju on Nationwide Movie Awards and her choreography course of for ‘Natyam’

Sandhya Raju, who gained the nationwide award for greatest choreography for ‘Natyam’, discusses how she needed to make the dance compositions enchantment to moviegoers 

Sandhya Raju, who gained the nationwide award for greatest choreography for ‘Natyam’, discusses how she needed to make the dance compositions enchantment to moviegoers 

Kuchipudi dancer, actor and movie producer Sandhya Raju who gained the most effective choreography award on the 68th Nationwide Movie Awards phrases the popularity as a validation for the work that went into her Telugu movie, Natyam. “I don’t come from a movie household. I used to be coming into a brand new terrain and spent quite a lot of time away from my household and my college students on the Nishrinkala Dance Academy. There have been days after I questioned if all this effort was value it,” she confesses throughout this interview with Friday Overview. Directed by Revanth Korukonda and produced by Sandhya, Natyam additionally bagged the nationwide award for greatest make-up for T V Rambabu.

Sandhya considers it humbling to be awarded for her choreography and mentions with delight among the earlier winners — Pandit Birju Maharaj, Prabhudeva, Bosco-Caesar and Saroj Khan — and says it’s a proud second to be a part of an elite membership. 

Natyam is about in a fictional dance village, nearly as a nod to Kuchipudi village in Andhra Pradesh and dance faculties reminiscent of Kalakshetra. The protagonist Sithara, performed by Sandhya, goals of performing a dance ballet based mostly on the lifetime of Kadambari, a fictional character whose story is steeped in thriller. However future has totally different plans for her. The story permits ample room for tune and dance conditions and Natyam showcases classical, people, modern and western compositions.

Focusing on film audiences

Sandhya Raju

Sandhya Raju
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Sandhya affirms that she supposed to enchantment to the moviegoing audiences: “Classical dance connoisseurs would have their very own markers as to what contributes to a pure dance kind. The devices, music, raga, lyrics and the best way we compose a mangalam, margam or tharangam must conform to the classical context. Whereas planning the choreography, I used to be reminded concerning the origin of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. Bharatanatyam started as a temple dance kind whereby dancers carried out in entrance of the deity, whereas Kuchipudi started with the thought of creating classical dance accessible to folks. Bands of itinerant artistes would journey to carry out Bhama Kalapam, Parijatham, Krishna-Rukmini-Satyabhama tales and so forth. My guru Vempati Chinna Satyam was recognized for his Kuchipudi dance dramas. I noticed Natyam as a chance to make totally different dance types interesting to the film audiences.”

Members of Aayana Dance Firm and western modern dancers from Mumbai have been a part of the Natyam group; they pitched it on to coach all of them for the movie and in addition doubled up as background dancers the place mandatory. 

One of many songs was a romance within the Radha-Krishna theme and Sandhya recounts it being a studying expertise since visible results have been concerned: “We filmed in a inexperienced room; quite a lot of homework went into the choreography that was a mixture of people and Indian modern dance. As a Kuchipudi dancer, I’m used to acting on stage. Engaged on a movie with the digital camera because the third eye and visible results being added later was a brand new ballgame.”

The Lepakshi take a look at

Sandhya Raju and Kamal Kamaraju in the ‘Namah Shivaya’ dance number filmed in Lepakshi

Sandhya Raju and Kamal Kamaraju within the ‘Namah Shivaya’ dance quantity filmed in Lepakshi

A spotlight of the movie was the ‘Namah Shivaya’ tune filmed throughout the temple precincts at Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh. Permissions have been powerful to return by; Sandhya mentions the assistance from Brahmani, the daughter of actor-politician Balakrishna who facilitated the method. The tune was initially deliberate to be filmed at night time however since permission was denied, we shot it in the course of the day. This was in summer season and posed challenges. Sandhya remembers how the movie group would pour water on the stone floor and she or he, co-star Kamal Kamaraju and different dancers would dance for 15 to twenty seconds in entrance of the digital camera and rush again to the shade: “On the finish of the seven-day schedule, many people had blisters on our toes, which took a number of days to heal. Some kind of insane ardour stored us all going. I took that train as a take a look at from Lord Shiva himself.”

Dressing up the forged

Natyam required particular consideration to the make-up of its principal forged in addition to the big variety of dancers and junior artistes who have been a part of the dance numbers. Sandhya credit make-up artiste Rambabu for guaranteeing that his group of make-up artistes labored preserving in thoughts the demanding filming schedules. “I did my make-up by myself. For lots of the forged members, Rambabu garu’s group dealt with the tasks,” she says.

Natyam was licensed in mid-December 2020, thus qualifying for the 68th Nationwide Movie Awards that recognised movies licensed in 2020. Owing to the pandemic-induced delays, it wasn’t till October 2021 that the movie discovered a theatrical launch. 

To get a sensible view of how the viewers would understand Natyam, take a look at screenings have been held. Reasonably than limiting themselves to suggestions from buddies, household and the movie fraternity, Sandhya and director Revanth assembled women and men of various age teams and walks of life: “We needed a actuality examine. Drivers, nurses from a hospital, boys from a basti who usually watch mass masala films… we had a combined viewers, together with those that couldn’t perceive Telugu. I subtitled the movie and needed to gauge whether or not the feelings translate properly. The suggestions helped us perceive how totally different folks view a movie.”  

New terrain

Dedicating her award to her guru Vempati Chinna Satyam, Sandhya states that he was considered a pathbreaking insurgent in his instances: “I can not examine myself, in any measure, to him. However with Natyam, I attempted to get new folks to find out about Kuchipudi in as we speak’s context. There was quite a lot of respect and adulation for the movie.”

Subsequent, Sandhya is engaged on a brand new Telugu movie set in Telangana. She is neither producing it neither is it a dance-oriented undertaking. She needs to hone her expertise as an actor: “I had a number of tasks in Natyam, planning the costumes and coordinating with the artwork course division, aside from performing, choreography and manufacturing. This time I needed to give up myself to the craft of performing. It’ll be a brand new journey and the manufacturing home will reveal the small print of the movie quickly.”

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