Bhavana Reddy, the proud recipient of the ‘Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ talks about her dream to hone her dance skills from Kuchipudi University
Bhavana Reddy, the proud recipient of the ‘Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ talks about her dream to hone her dance skills from Kuchipudi University

Kuchipudi dancer Bhavana Reddy, daughter of Kuchipudi exponents Raja and Kausalya Reddy is back from Washington after having performed at Millennium Stage of Kennedy Center. The event was organised by Embassy of India as part of #INDIA@70 Concert Series.  

Bhavana talks about her journey

Her childhood: 
I was always a social child. I still remember dance classes used to be held in our house’s backyard. I wanted to be part of it because all my friends were in the class. My formal training started when I was four years old.

First performance:
At the ICCR auditorium in Delhi. I performed on Bhagadvadajjukeeyam in which I did Punya Vachanam. As a child I never had stage fear. I also played the role of Krishna. When I was seven years old in Pune, I performed the role of Ram, which is very close to my heart because my mother played Kaushalya’s role. I got my first fan letter after this show.  

Importance of ‘Abhinaya’ in Kuchipudi: 
I used to get facial expressions along with the flow of the story. As a child I was good at it. In teenage I became a little bit shy. I never used expressions while practising. But, on the stage I could do them naturally as the audience would be far away from the stage and the lights would be off because of which I would become unaware of someone watching me. 

I like singing. I really love playing sports like badminton. I like watching movies.

Health funda: 
I put on weight very easily. I am slim because I am practising regularly. I practise for 4 to 5 hours. I fix timetable one day before. I do one-hour yoga, two hours of dance and one hour of Pilates.  Pilates and yoga are for body strengthening. If we don’t do this fitness regime, the life of knee joints will decrease.

Aim in life: 
Future ambitions are to make Kuchipudi as popular as Russian ballet. This is my main aim.

Right now, I want to stick to the basics and master my dance.  Going forward, I want to explore choreography and start story telling. Recently, I did reinvented version of ‘Bhamakalapam’ in Delhi. I combined drama that the current generation can understand. I will perform the same in Hyderabad in November. 
Usually, a new production takes months. Earlier, I choreographed for the songs that I have sung in English language. You can watch my song “Stuck in a Valley” on YouTube. Be it performance or choreography I discuss with my dad and do research. 

On Pursuing Music:
I’ve seen a life without music. But, I’ve never seen a life without dance. I can’t deal with not having dance in my life. I don’t want to compromise and give half of my time to something else other than dancing. 

I want to learn Kuchipudi from Kuchipudi village. Now, my parents don’t teach some items. I will have something special to learn from the village.  I also need to learn Telugu properly. I will first complete my shows that are in line and then there is my marriage planned. Then, I am going to join Kuchipudi University.

Connection with Telangana
We would often go to our home town in Nizamabad. We would go there, spend two months with our entire family, play cricket, video games.  I used to come to Hyderabad to do shows. I started spending more time only when my sister Yamini got married and made the city her home. 

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