Professor Ramalinga Sastry, the dean of Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, recently received the Kala Ratna Award for his contribution to dance. “It is a great pleasure to receive the award,” says Sastry adding, “I hail from the Kuchipudi village and belong to a traditional dance family. Most families there take up dance and earn their living through it. Kuchipudi, in those days was a dance form staged mostly by men. They used to enact as women during performances.”
Professor Sastry also choreographed a number which was performed during the foundation laying ceremony of Amravati. “While handing the award, AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu asked me to work more and bring laurels to the state,” says Sastry, who joined UoH in 1991, and is currently also a professor in the Department of Dance.
Talking about his contribution to dance, he recollects one important chapter. “You can create a new dance form, but once an art form is dead, can you revive it? Sounds difficult but I did it. I reconstructed a yakshaganam called Sasirekha Parinayam,” he says, adding, “This production was written way back in 1911. I wanted to revive something that was not in practice and that’s when the idea stuck me. I referred to the book giving details about this particular yakshaganam, took the music from the archives of All India Radio, Vijayawada, and reconstructed it. It was successful.”
“I owe it all to my first dance guru, Vedantam Parvatheesam. I want to keep imparting the dance forms to the younger generation and keep dancing till my last breath,” he concludes....