BHAVANA REDDY IN CONCERT Presenting “BHAMA KALĀPAM” – A traditional Kuchipudi Dance Drama



The present form toKuchipudi  style was given by Saint Siddhendra who is regarded as the father of the Kuchipudi dance. He initiated the Brahmin families of Kuchipudi village into this type of dance tradition and made them vow that every one of its male members would play the role of Satyabhama at least once during his lifetime.


Saint Siddhendra’s“Bhamakalāpam” has become famous and popular without which a Kuchipudi dance performance is deemed incomplete. Satyabhāma, the most amorous consort of Lord Krishna, is the heroine of this dance number and is a ‘SwādhinaPathika’ (or a hero-in-her-grip type of) heroine. BhamaKalāpam is probably the only dance-drama among the Hindu lore of lover lyrics that the role of Krishna is practically absent and Satyabhaāma renders the entire number with the assistance of her handmaid. And a full story is told.

Raja Radha Reddy traveled to Kuchipudi village and Eluru in Andhra Pradesh to learn this ancient tradition of BhamaKalāpam from their guru Vendantam Prahlada Sarma. Mastergaru had a distinct style from other gurus that displayed perfection in poise, gait, technique and abhinaya. The duo spread this beautiful and sacred dance-drama for decades giving breathtaking performances, wowing audiences across the world. This tradition now lives on through their daughters and disciples.

Bhavana Reddy will be presenting BhamaKalāpam.

“Besides Kuchipudi, her ‘virasat’, she has also acquired intensive training in both Carnatic vocal music and Western music, her big love.   A tight grip on rhythm, stage and light décor, and equally importantly, the confidence that a good performer needs to make the stage her very own, are her other assets. I have no doubt that in time to come, she will bring gloss to the name of her parents!”……………………………….

Shanta SerbjeetSingh (Former Chairperson, APPAN International & senior dance critic).

Based in Delhi, Bhavana, is an acclaimed Kuchipudi Dancer, younger daughter and disciple of legendary dancing couple Padmabhushans Drs. Raja Radha Reddy and Kaushalya Reddy. Bhavana began training in Kuchipudi and Carnatic Music as early as 4 years into her life. At age 5, she was declared a dancing prodigy touring USA, Canada, Europe, UAE and South East Asia. She has performed dance for International Prime Ministers, Prince of Wales, and countless dignitaries and for prestigious festivals such as Khajuraho, Konark, KalidasSamaroh (Nagpur), Sadler’s Wells Festival (London), Bengal Classical Music Festival (Dhaka). She has received commendable response worldwide receiving accolades such as the YFLO Young Women Achievers Award, Femina North Powerlist Award and Lifetime Award for Contribution to Kuchipudi Dance by Telugu Cultural Association, Austin Texas.

After graduating with a B.Com (Hons) from Lady Shri Ram College for Women New Delhi, Bhavana migrated to Los Angeles, California to pursue an Associate of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance and Independent Artistry from Musicians Institute, Hollywood. She has a unique knack to understand, churn out and thrive simultaneously and authentically in the polar opposite worlds of traditional classical Kuchipudi dance as well as western contemporary music. Currently, she is pursuing her careers in the two and continues to learn Kuchipudi under her illustrious parents and Carnatic music under the tutelage of Dr. K. Vageesh.


About the author



Neha Tyagi - Publisher at Glamour Mantra Magazine

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