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Published on: 29 May 2020

Madhulika Srivatsa

Madhulika Srivatsa is one of the founder-dancers of Sukhalaasa, an ensemble dedicated to developing and showcasing Bharatanritya. She also has 19 years of experience as a dancer, having performed at many prestigious dance festivals and temple events.

A descendent of the Natuva Mela dance traditions of Andhra Pradesh, the modern version of Kuchipudi was founded and structured by Siddhendra Yogi in the seventeenth century. Rooted heavily in the dance traditions of Yakshagana, Kuchipudi was male-oriented and was the exclusive domain of Vaidiki Brahmins. Gurus like Cinta Venkataramayya, Vedantam Lakshminarayana Sastri, Vempati Venkata Narayana, etc., were the stalwarts of the field and contributed significantly to the dance form. The socio-cultural and political changes in post-Independence India also saw hereditary boundaries of both caste and gender being crossed, widening the clientele for the form. Post-1960s, we saw an influx of women performers in Kuchipudi like Uma Rama Rao, Yamini Krishnamurthy, Sumathy Kaushal and Lanka Annapurna. Performers like Radha and Raja Reddy, Jayarama-Vanashree Rao, Swapna Sundari have, in turn, brought national and international acclaim to the dance. The repertoire that started with Bhama Kalapam has extended widely with the inclusion of several solo and dance-drama compositions.