Published: 12th February 2020
Love Kuchipudi? Head for one of dancer Srilekhya Karamchati's meetups in Hyderabad
Srilekhya Karamchati was just 11 years old when she gave her first-ever Kuchipudi performance. It was clearly the first of many for the young dancer, whose meetups are now all the rage
With her very first production Anandakeli, organised in June 2018, Kuchipudi dancer Srilekhya Karamchati nailed it. This 45-minute production has seamlessly blended tradition with technology. How, you ask? First, the entire sequence was shot in a green mat studio and the same video, after using professional software tools, adding animations and so on, was transformed into a silhouette and synched with the live performance. The visual imagery this evoked was out of the world. And now, this 29-year-old is on to greater things. She has performed internationally in the UK and Europe.
She is also a coder and currently, works as a Product Manager with Zenoti
Today, she is glad that when she was four-years-old, her mother pushed her to join Kuchipudi classes. "I had no option, but to fall in love with Kuchipudi," Srilekhya laughs as she shares. And the love story between Srilekhya and Kuchipudi is still going strong. Srilekhya has worked a lot on her craft. She has learnt by putting her keen observation skills to use and currently, she is pursuing Advanced Training under Padmashree Dr Jaya Rama Rao. She has also been trained under Maddali Usha Gayatri. Having lived in cities like Delhi and Mumbai, this Hyderabad-born youngster is aware that the culture of performance art is not very strong here. But she wasn't going to just sit back and do nothing about it.
Hence, she started Kuchipudi Meetups last year. "This is for the community, to enrich and learn from it," says the youngster who has a diploma from Potti Sri Ramulu Telugu University. During these meetups, they revisit the basics and fundamentals of the dance form, share their knowledge with each other and so much more. "There is no concept of senior or junior here, we just practice, observe and learn," she explains. These meetups happen at her yoga teacher Krishna Kumar's studio in Kondapur, Hyderabad. Yes, she has been learning yoga as well, since January 2018, to increase her flexibility.
Srilekhya giving a performance | (Pic: Srilekhya Karamchati)
Srilekhya feels that her calling lies in choreography and her vision is that she wants to start her own dance production company in the future. She is working on a production and the latest news is that she will be performing in the Drive East Festival to be held in New York.
Two of her most memorable performances have been at:
- Tirupati - After she played the role of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy in a ballet Alimelu Manga Charitham, people from the audience fell on her feet chanting 'Govinda, Govinda'
- Delhi - In 2001, at the age of 11, she filled in someone else's spot by giving an impromptu solo performance in front of the then Chief Minister, Late Sheila Dixit
More glimpses from her performances
For more on her, check out srilekhya.com