Be it through their words or mudras, they engage and educate you
These artistes change with the changing times, yet are rooted in tradition. While Sandhya Raju and Vangala Nivedita enthralled the city with their classical moves, vocalist Parnika Manya gave a new spin to divine chants. Meanwhile, the radio jockeys formed an instant connect with the city youth. Meet the six performers who give you a slice of Hyderabad
with their creativity
Have you heard of Hindu wedding rituals performed in a ballet in Kuchipudi? Dancer Vangala Nivedita is mastering this unique style. She learnt it from her relative who researched in shlokas and rituals for marriage and later essayed it in ballet. What is noteworthy is that the danseuse wears traditional Kuchipudi attire and performs sans ballerina shoes. Her performance was staged in Chennai. “I’ll soon be performing in Hyderabad,” says the dancer, who is in her 20s. She plans to expand her routine and also explore the importance of divine women to whom the shlokas are dedicated.
Radio Jockey at Radio City
Watching a Rajini movie in India in Tamil or Telugu is what every fan of Thalaivar will do. But watching his movie in Japanese, in a theatre in Japan with his fans there? Now, that’s what RJ Potugaadu has in his bucket list. Dinesh, better known by his on-air nickname Potugaadu, compares his work to that of celluloid stars. “They deliver blockbusters on screen. I create chartbusters – every single day – on air,” he says. This 20-plusser who won the Indian Radio Forum 2016 award for best packaging for his show on 91.1 FM believes that the epicentre of his existence lies in the Gladiator philosophy – “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” As he gets ready to host his next show, he reels off his bucket list: Bungee jumping from AJ Hacket Macau. Scuba diving in Maldives. Daredevilry at Devil’s Circuit.”
She made her first appearance on the small screen five years ago on ETV. But her ticket to fame was Pataas. “The show featured youngsters and they could connect well with me,” she explains. Another feather in her cap was hosting the audio launch of Gentleman at Shilpakala Vedika. “The hall reverberated with my name when I came on stage. That was one overwhelming moment for me,” she gushes. Last year, she hosted four shows on four channels. “My best year so far,” she admits. Apart from the shows, she will also be seen in two movies next year. What plans for 2017? Shed some pounds, she says.
Last year was quite eventful for Kuchipudi danseuse Sandhya Raju. Her performance in the recital Tales of Gods & Love, made her a popular name amongst the city’s dance enthusiasts. When the short film Natyam released, she became a household name. The film directed by Revanth Korukonda garnered over 1,152,873 views on YouTube. The narrative is about the journey of a woman who seeks to find her identity through dance. “Many people related to the character and was inspired to take up the art form they had abandoned due to circumstances,” says Raju. Not only that, she added other feathers to her cap as she walked the ramp for friends Anushree Reddy and Moni Agarwal. In the coming year, she is looking forward to putting up more Kuchipudi dance tutorials online. “Even a dancer in Melbourne should be able to use my videos as a textbook,” says Raju. That apart, she is also looking forward to becoming the Chairperson of YFLO this year, organising events and inspiring the women she works with.
Parnika Manya started as a chorus singer in 2008 and today she is a playback singer with a discography of more than 50 songs including many blockbusters. “Until tenth grade, I hated learning music. But after that I magically fell in love with it. I was inclined towards Carnatic music, but destiny had other plans,” she says talking about how she ventured into singing for Tollywood. Last year, she performed in the United States, Dubai, Bahrain and many more cities including the twin states. “I had even released my first single Ayigiri Nandini which became a hit overnight,” shares Manya who has 29,000 followers on her Facebook page. She has a special message for her fans: Expect many more innovative albums in the upcoming year.
Radio Jockey at Big FM
She began her journey a decade ago and has enjoyed staying on the crest of airwaves since then. Naomi Grace a.k.a RJ Grace is a true-blue Hyderabadi who loves to entertain her audience in the Telangana dialect. About the roller-coaster ride she has had this year, she says, “This is how it should be when it comes to growth and learning. The straight line indicates death.” However, it was more of ups surely for Grace. The shout-out moment for this 27-year-old RJ was when she became the first among her peers to share video content on Facebook. “People discuss and share the content I upload, not just on the radio but on social media too,” she adds. One thing she promises to deliver in the coming days is to highlight many issues in the city through her online videos. “I love this city and I want to show people how beautiful it is. And along the way, make a difference to them,” she concludes.
Pics: Vinay Madapu, Sayantan Ghosh
Text: Purnima Sriram, Nishad Neelambaran, Paulami Sen & Saima Afreen