A reverential lineage

A reverential lineage

A reverential lineage. What’s better than having a family full of music lovers? The ‘Singaramani’ family is full of music and dance lovers and performers.

What’s better than having a family full of music lovers? The ‘Singaramani’ family is full of music and dance lovers and performers. The family has Ch Ajay Kumar and his brother Srinivas who are eminent classical dancers, while Srinivas’ wife Sudharani is a fine classical singer. Speaking about his foray into dance, Ajay said, “I find dance a diving art form. It was my aunt lakshmi who initially exposed me to dance as I later moved on to take classes under Pasumarthy Venkateswara Sarma and Kondaveeti Chalapathi Rao.

Family members of Ch Ajay Kumar  Photo Ch Venkata Mastan

Legendary Kuchipudi dance exponent Vempati Chinna Satyam is my source of inspiration.” A lecturer in Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao Government Music and Dance College, Ajay has got a doctorate in Kuchipudi dance. He has toured the US, UK, UAE, Singapore and several other countries to exhibit his dance. Having 2,800 dance performances in India and abroad to his credit, Ajay is running Hamsadhwani, a dance school.

A disciple of Vedantam Venkata Chalapati, Srinivas has done his post graduation in dance. He also learnt a lot pertaining to Nattuvangam from renowned music composer Kumara Suryanarayana. Now Srinivas is a lecturer in Montessori Mahila Kalasala. The siblings who gave dance performances in the country and abroad, have won all-round appreciation for their talent. The duo has composed many dance ballets, including Kala Chakra, Mohini Bhasmasura, Mahishasura Mardini, Narayaneeyam, Rukmini Kalyanam and Adi Shankaracharya.

Sudharani who learnt music from eminent gurus Siva Rama Krishna, Lanka Annapurna, Ampolu Muralikrishna, Annavarapu Ramaswamy and Pemmaraju Surya Rao, started performing on stages right from her childhood. It is not an exaggeration that many dance ballets got richness because of her melodious voice. While staging ‘Panchakanyalu’ dance ballet written by Rallabandi Kavita Prasad, Sudharani completed everything, including music composition and choreography, within a record time of 24 hours. The vocalist plans to compose music for traditional temple songs and old songs with rich literary values.

Commenting on the present dance trends, the family said, “Classical dances are being staged with no feel these days. People are playing prerecorded music CDs instead of having live instrumental music, which is saddening. The new practice may be due to non-availability of talented musicians or lack of adequate funds to engage them. But whatever the reason is, it is not a healthy practice.” The family with immense dance and music talent aims to propagate classical art forms in the State by organising workshops and youth festivals in the coming years.

By HVRS Prasad

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