Padmaja Reddy is a Hyderabad-based Kuchipudi artist. She runs a dance academy called Pranav Institute of Kuchipudi Dance. The interesting thing about her is that she is working on the classical dance form for India’s 29th state called Telangana. After the creation of Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, the question arose what is the dance form of Telangana? For Andhra Pradesh the classical dance is Kuchipudi but for Telangana?
Kaakathiyam is pitched as the classical dance form of Telangana, and Dr G. Padmaja Reddy is working on the nitty-gritties and subtleties of this dance form and her efforts are receiving encouragement and support from the KCR government. Kakatiyam, also spelt as Kaakathiyam, is ‘a melange of ethnic dance forms’ noted The Times of India. But for Padmaja Reddy, Kakatiyam has roots in 14th century’s Kakatiyas’ reign or Kakatiyula Rajyam. In an interview with our correspondent, Padmaja Reddy talks about the roots of Kakatiyam, and what the dance form means to her and what would be the future of the dance form for the newly-created state of India. She has met experts to find out more about Telangana’s past art forms, and has conducted research of field visits and critical analysis for Kakatiyam. Listen to the podcast:
Padmaja Reddy has given more than 3000 performances in India and abroad. Her accomplishment as an artist was recognised by the Government of India. During the first term of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi from 2014-2019, she was invited to give a performance at the official residence of India’s Prime Minister: 10, Race Course Road. She continues to train students who wants to learn dance. Students especially girls from various backgrounds and age groups enrol in her dance academy who want to learn dance not only as a career choice but also to express themselves and sweat-out their routine lives marked by office work and domestic chores.