Sunday, June 23, 2024

Sobha Naidu, Kuchipudi’s face for 5 decades

  • She breathed her last in early hours of Wednesday
  • Central Sangeeta Nataka Kala Academy award
  • Nritya Vihari from Sri Sringara Samsad, Mumbai
  • Padma Shri,  Hamsa Awad, Nritya Choodamani
  • A disciple of legendary Vempati China Satyam
  • Survived by Arjun Rao, IAS, and daughter Sai Shivaranjani

Sobha Naidu has been the pride of Telugus for more than half a century. She dedicated her life to Kuchipudi dance genre and trained more than 1,500 students who are in various countries around the globe propagating the dance model which was evolved by Telugus.

Shobha Naidu passed away in the early hours of Wednesday at a private hospital in Hyderabad. She was suffering with neurology-related problems. She was 64. She has been the face of Kuchipudi dance in the world for about half a century. Hundreds of her students all over the world have condoled the death of their loving teacher. Many celebrities have expressed their grief at the loss of the extraordinary dancer who performed in almost all important countries in the world. Sobha Naidu is survived by her husband Arjun Rao, an IAS officer, and a daughter Sai Shivaranjani.

She was a prominent disciple of legendary Vempati China Satyam with whom she visited many places across the globe to give performances in kuchipudi dance.  Born at Anakapalli near Vishakaptanam,  she started showing interest in kuchipudu dance at the age of 12. She became a celebrity dancer, a world renowned exponent of the dance  and went on to establish a Kuchipudi academy  in 1980 and trained nearly 1500 students so far. Her greatness lies in dedicating herself to the exacting genre with classical base.

She was known for classical dance training programme in the name of “Sadhana” which has been aired by TTD  channel since 2008. She organised a programme titled “ Siri Siri muvva” in ‘Sanskruthi’ channel promoting the budding artists in showcasing talents.  She dedicated herself to the dance performances and training only refusing  many film offers and stuck to her morals. She was a fiercely uncompromising purist.

Sobha Naidu was famous for her ballets such as Vipranarayana, Kalyana Srinivasam, Srikrishna Saranam Mama, Girijakalyanam etc. She performed as Padmavati in Kalyana Srinivasam which was organised by Tirumal Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) throughout the country. She made Kuchipudi dance form popular across the country and the globe.

Shobha Naidu visited many places across the world and participated in programmes organised by TANA, and gave programmes as representative of Indian Government in foreign countries. Her passing away is a great loss to Indian art. Sona Mansing, famous dancer, tweeted her condolence message thus: “Deepest condolences to India’s dancing fraternity on  sad demise of the eminent Kuchipudi dance-Guru Padma Shri Smt. Sobha Naidu. May her dance rejoice the Divine  in Heaven. Peace be on her soul.


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