Sahrdaya Arts Trust

Nartanam - Vol IX No. 2

A Quarterly Journal of Indian Dance - Volume IX - Number 2 - April to June 2009 (Chinta Venkataramaiah and the Kuchipudi Yakshagana Tradition)

"What every person needs are koodu (food), gudda (clothing) and needa (a roof on our head). If these are essential needs of a person, the same are needed for an art to sustain and please the audience. Bhava is the food (which sustains the art); raga is the appropriate clothing which gives the bhava shape, beauty and musicality; and tala is the dwelling in which we live because the bhava and raga in our art are pegged to the abode of tala".1

Thus spake a lean, withering man, in his 80's wearing a lion cloth and an angavastra, sitting on the 'portals'2 of his verandah (a low-roofed thatched house) to a tiny group of youngsters in a low voice, as though he was speaking to himself; as though he was speaking out his conviction of an art form; which he conceived, ordained to his people as their sole property for the next one hundred years and more - almost like a second Siddhendra Yogi, reborn to resurrect the waning lives of the artist community of his village - perhaps to resurrect himself and in the process find the emancipation of the future generations.

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