Saturday, February 8, 2020

Celebrating Life - Edited by Anuradha Jonnalagadda Tadakamalla

This is a fine coffee table book on Vedantam Raghavaiah, a highly talented and gifted Kuchipudi dancer, actor and director. He was born in Kuchipudi in 1919, and the book was compiled and edited by Smt Anuradha Jonnalaagadda, who is also a Professor at the Department of Dance, University of Hyderabad. The launch was held at Ravindra Bharathi and was attended by several prominent personalities.

Raghavaiah trained under Yakshagana Pitamaha Chinta Venkataramayya from a young age and at ahe 7, he won a gold medal for his portrayal of Pranhala Yakshaganam. He soon mastered the form. When he was about 20 years about and had already acquired considerable fame as an artist, he performed in a movie Rythu Bidda. He was the dance director for 22 films, directed 36 films in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Marathi. He started Vinoda Pictures in 1957 wit CR Subbaraman, DL Narayana and Samudrala Senior. His greatest works were Yogi Vemana, Tyagayya, Keelugurram, Swapna Sundari, Bhale Ramudu, Anarkali. Devadasu in 1953 was a runaway hit with Akkineni Nageswara Rao in the lead role. He passed away in 1971, aged a mere 52 years

It was a wonderful tribute to a great personality. The quality of work, the focus on doing quality work and never getting satisfied is something one can learn from these masters. A wonderful effort by Dr Anuradha Jonnalagadda, research scholar Kathyayani Ganti and exponent in Kuchipudi music DVS Sastry.

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