Shri Kala Krishna

Abhinava Satyabhama -Andhranatyam & - Perini Guru - Abhinaya Expert

Kalakrishna, an accomplished artist of immense talent, a treasure of great Indian heritage, a reserve of incomparable talent, and also a great anthropologist serving humanity with great classic art forms. He showcased that an ordinary person from a remote village too can reach.  heights with dedication, talent, and hard work. Kalakrishna, being an outstanding performer with complete mastery of his tradition and art, is endowed with wonderful qualities to the optimum proportion that make the onlookers spellbound.

Acharya Kalakrishna at a glance

Abhinava Satyabhama, Guru Shri Kala Krishna

Background

Kalakrishna, an accomplished artist of immense talent, a treasure of great Indian heritage, a reserve of
incomparable talent and also a great anthropologist serving humanity with great classic art forms.
He showcased that an ordinary person from a remote village too can reach heights with dedication,
talent and hard work.


His inspirational journey in the name of Andhra Natyam, Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, and Perini started by great gurus like Padmasri Dr. Nataraja RamaKrishna and other temple dancers who mastered him in many exceptional art forms of the courts of Kings and Temples in the form of Nava Janardhanam, AshtaDikpalaka Nrityam, Bali Haranam, Navasandhi and many more to count. He has been passing on this culture to his hundreds of disciples who are spread in Hyderabad Central University, Telugu University and HariHara Nritya Niketan.


The Guru Shishya Parampara in which he has been learning and teaching to hundreds of youngsters for the last 30 years made him very popular in the field of classical dance. Kalakrishna, being an outstanding performer with complete mastery on his tradition and art, is endowed with wonderful qualities to the optimum proportion that make the onlookers spellbound. A small remote village, Kallepalli, in Karimnagar District of Telangana state couldn’t stop his advancement as a national and international level artist and remained as a pole of inspiration for all the art lovers.


Lots many national and international events in both the Telugu states i.e. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, many national-level voyages and international voyages in USA, UK, Africa, and many Asian countries are part of his great performances. Many awards and rewards are bestowed upon him, not to appreciate him but to enhance their own status in society.

Specialization

Andhra Natyam, Perini and Navajanardhanam, in which Kalakrishna has mastered his art, are various classical art forms of not only Telugu speaking states but also that of Southern India. Andhra Natyam having a history of 2000 years, was lost in the Mughal and British era, and was revived in the 20th century with the new name of Andhranatyam. This dance form is essentially performed by females, characterized by rich footwork and Abhinaya. It is derived from various dance forms and has strong similarities with Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam, including older dance styles like Dasiattam, Kacherittam and Chinnamelam. Though it originated in temples, it was also performed by the courtesans known as kalavantulu in Telugu, open-air public performances known as Kalapam are a part of Andhra Natyam.


NavaJanardanam belongs to the Kalapam style of dance which used to be performed in the nine Janardana temples of East Godavari Dt of Andhra Pradesh. It used to be performed for nine continuous nights either at various places or at a place itself. This traditionally rich dance form is
known only to Kalakrishna and there is no other artiste who knows about it in the whole state.
Perini Shivatandavam or Perini Thandavam is an ancient dance form from Telangana which has been
revived in recent times by Gurudev Nataraja Ramakrishna. It originated and prospered in Telangana during the Kakatiya dynasty. Perini is performed by males and it is believed that in  ancient times this was performed before the soldiers set to war. Kalakrishna is a great Guru who is carrying on this
great tradition through his disciples.
Satyabhama, for which Kalakrishna is popular, was not only a beautiful wife of Lord Krishna but also
a rich and valorous woman, a warrior and a regal aura had to be depicted while portraying her. He is
titled “Abhinava Satya Bhama” for his mastery over the character of Satyabhama.
With around 1000 performances in India and abroad and the recipient of many awards, Kala Krishna has
been a dedicated student of art. Kalakrishna is the Cultural Co-ordinator, Choreographer for
Government of Andhra Pradesh and Government of Telangana in State Exchange programs,
Children’s Film Festivals, Youth Festivals, and other prestigious state events.
Kalakrishna has also taken up the responsibility of popularizing the Lasya tradition of Perini in the
state of Telangana. He has also penned many articles and books on these traditions which were
published by various organizations.
Kalakrishna is bestowed with many National and International Awards. It may not be exaggerating to
state that there is not even a single national or international classical dance festival that has not
hosted his performance. Soorya Dance Festival, Elephanta Dance Festival, Khajuraho Dance Festival,
Konark Dance Festival, Orissa, Ellora Ajanta Dance Festival, Khali valley pahad festival, Mumbai,
TANA festivals & AATA festivals in the USA and Silicon Andhra International Kuchipudi dance
festivals, Perini-Andhra Natyam festivals are some of the great festivals that he has performed.
This gratified nation is in debt to this humble and magnificent artiste in the form of civilian awards.

Achievements

The significant contribution of Kalakrishna lies in popularizing the ancient tradition of temple and
courtesan dances of southern part of India for the last 30 years. No other artiste can perform the 9
days Navajanardhanam which used to be performed by the Nattuvamelam ladies which he preserved through the archives of National Archaeological Society, Mumbai, Sangeetha Nataka Academy, New
Delhi and a documentary film which won Golden Nandi award by the Government of A.P. The
ancient traditional Adhyatma Ramayan was recorded by IndiraGandhi National Centre for the Arts,
New Delhi under his guidance. He conducted numerous conferences in collaboration with danseuses
of Devadasi tradition on various stages. He helps the research scholars as guide to explore various
classical art forms. His national and international voyages exceeding 2000 exhibit the unparalleled art
form to its maximum glory.
His great contribution as Nattuvangist for Perini Tandava performances, responsibilities to popularize
Lasya tradition of Perini and commitment and dedication for the last 30 years is praiseworthy. A
special project by Sangeetha Nataka Academy, New Delhi for revival of the Guru Sishya Parampara
also helped him in reviving the traditional art forms.
His inspiring personality, humble nature, unsurpassed thirst, adjustable nature, good rapport with
other artistes are definitely a great contribution by him not only for the arts but for the humanity in
large.

Awards/Recognition received (State Level)

KalaRatna Hamsa Award by Government of AP, First Awardee of Telangana State formation Day by
Government of Telangana, Pratibha Puraskar from Pottisriramulu Telugu University, Nandi Award
for Navajanardhanam Documentary, Abhinava Satyabhama title conferred by the famous scholar


Vemparala Satyanarayana Sastry on behalf of the connoisseurs of dance, Madhura Lasya Kala Nidhi
title by Sangeeta Vidwat Sabha, Kakinada, Gold Medal from Kuchipudi Art Academy, Padmabhushan Akkineni Nageswara Rao Gold medal, Guru Vedantam Jagannadha Sarma Gold
Medal, Kala Subba Rao Puraskaram, Sthanam Narasimha Rao Award, Life Time Achievement
Award by Nagula Mallaiah, Vivekananda Life Time Achievement Award, Srujana Excellency Award
and Yuva Kala Vahini Excellency Award.


40 days of Intensive course on NavaJanardhanam at Nizamabad, 40 days of workshop on Perini
Sivatandavam at Warangal, Andhra Natyam workshop at Rajahmundry
Telugu Vybhavam Dance ballet and Andhra Natya Vaibhavam Ballet for Department of Culture, AP, Ramarkrishna Leela geeti, Sarada Leela geeti, Ramakrishna Chalisa composed for Ramakrishna Mutt,
Hyderabad, Satya Sai Ashtottara Satanamavali, Navaratna Nritya Malika for Satya Sai Seva Trust,
Puttaparti.


At state level he worked as Cultural Coordinator, choreographer for Government of AP in State
Exchange programmes, Children Film Festivals, Youth Festivals and other prestigious state events.

Awards/Recognition (National Level)

  1. Sangeetha Nataka Academy Puraskar, 2009, New Delhi

  2. ICCR Panel Artiste in Outstanding Category

  3. Special Project on Guru-Sishya Parampara, Special training sessions in Navajardhanam and a research project on a comparative analysis of Kuchipudi Bhama Kalapam and Andhra

  4. Natyam Nava Janardhanam with financial help from Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi.

  5. Fellowship by Department of Culture to work on Abhinaya technique developed in female

  6. impersonation

  7. Member of Financial Assistance Committee for two terms, Member of Artist selection

  8. Committee and Member of CCRT selection Committee under Department of Culture, HRD

  9. Ministry, New Delhi

  10. A grade artiste and Member of Doordarshan Audition Committee of Doordarshan, New Delhi

  11. Special performance and felicitation in all the major national dance festivals like Soorya

  12. Dance Festival, Elephanta Dance Festival, Khajuraho Dance Festival, Konark Dance Festival, Ellora

  13. Ajanta Dance Festival, khali valley pahad festival

  14. Under the popular Spic Macay banner numerous performances and felicitations at the national and international level.

  15. Andhra Ballet for ADB Conference held at Hyderabad, 2006

  16. Felicitations and performances by various prestigious Telugu Cultural Organizations at Delhi, Bombay, Surat, Bhuvaneswar, Nagpur, Jamshedpur, Bhilai, Kharagpur, Kolkota, Madras, Bangalore, Coimbatore, and Kerala.

Awards/Recognition (International Level)

  1. Organized a workshop in Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Mauritius in 1987 on behalf of AP Govt.

  2. A special workshop was conducted at Kuchipudi Dance Centre, 5 th Louis, the USA in 1991 on the invitation of Telugu Fine Arts Association, USA

  3. Choreographed a Ballet Ardha Nareeswaram for London Television, London, UK

  4. One-month cultural tour by ICCR for cultural exchange with South Africa.

  5. 10 days tour of Japan by ICCR under a cultural exchange program.

  6. Tour of Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia by ICCR under a cultural exchange program.

  7. Special felicitation and performance by Telugu Kala Samithi, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

  8. International Dance Day Award from Rasmai, Hyderabad

  9. Five times presentations and felicitations in the AATA festivals, USA.

  10. Special felicitation by a cultural organization of France.

  11. Felicitations in World Telugu Conferences held at Mauritius and Singapore.

  12. Thus Kalakrishna visited almost all the continents in the world and glorified the great Indian culture and heritage through his spell-bounding performances. He is the real Indian idol representing the traditional face of India. His performances not only limited to Indians abroad,

  13. but many foreigners also learned the classical art from him and starting spreading in those countries.

Contribution to the field

Kalakrishna has been instrumental in inspiring the youth and art lovers. His sessions with great dancers of yesteryears like Annabathula Satyabhama, Saride Manikyamma to invoke the spirit of Andhra Natyam made the art lovers rethink the state of fine arts and many organizations came forward to protect the age-old tradition of AndhraNatyam. His spell-bounding performances of Navajanardhanam invoked a divine spirit among the youth and
encouraged them to practice the traditional art forms. His works, writings, performance, demonstrations, lectures, and personal interaction with various sections of people could
generate awareness among the people to protect and practice the classical dances. Many national and international organizations recorded his great performances and protected them as archives for the benefit of future generations. Many research scholars have taken up various
projects related to classical dance forms and submitted their thesis work to the universities.

Tireless works of Kalakrishna in invoking Perini Lasya tradition made the Government of Telangana think about their policy towards classical art forms and they introduced Perini
Tandava and Lasya traditions in all the Music and Dance colleges as a subject to learn and practice. Kalakrishna remained an icon for youth for a long time. Many male artists were inspired
to take up dance as a profession.

Contributions to the Society

It is an agreed fact that all art forms in some way or the other should help society to progress not only aesthetically but also materialistically. Kalakrishna kept this fact in mind
and always tried to contribute to the growth of society through his art. He has been teaching, since 2011, the students of Satya Sai Vidya Mandir, Hyderabad which is a center for orphans.
He choreographed some dance items for the Handicapped Children under the aegis of Rotary Club. Under CCRT camps he works freely for the benefit of the inmates of the camps. Under the aegis of SpicMacay, he visits lots many organizations and inspires lots many students through his great lectures and demonstrations. He had attended the Bharatanatyam sessions of Abhichand Art Academy which is instrumental in inspiring the street children. He has visited lots many schools and performed free of cost to inspire the people to a great extent. His empathic heart is always ready to extend a helping hand to the needy at the time of calamities and natural disasters. In short, he is an artist of common people even though his art is of intellectuals.

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