Saturday
Aug 19th
  • Login
  • Create an account
    Registration
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
    Captcha plugin for Joomla from Outsource Online
     
  • Search
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Cover Features Perini, Regaining Glory!

Perini, Regaining Glory!

Print PDF

Perini, Regaining Glory!

Padma Shri Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna’s painstaking work on Perini is bearing fruit, with the Telangana Government instituting a four-year diploma course in Perini in the Music and Dance Schools in the State. Apart from this, the high-energy level dance is being exhibited at major State functions and schools in a bid to popularise Perini.

Preserving culture to pass it on to generations has been the practice for centuries. Some cultures have survived orally by passing it on in the family or through the study of written texts. The Telangana Government is doing its best by preserving the dance art form Perini that flourished during the rule of Kakatiyas. In the 1970s, Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna recreated Perini after a careful study of Nandhikeshava’s Bharatanavam and Jayapa Senani’s Nritta Ratnavali. Thanks to Padma Shri Nataraja Ramakrishna’s hard work of restructuring this dance form, a four-year diploma course in Perini has been launched in the six Music and Dance Schools in Hyderabad, Warangal, Nizamabad and Manthani. As Nataraja Ramakrishna conceived it as a bare-bodied male dance, the syllabus has to be duly incorporated to suit the women learners. The Telugu University will conduct the exams and also look into the syllabus. Currently, Perini is taught as a lesson in Telugu subject in Class IV, as Social subject in Class VIII and in Hindi subject in Class X.

On the second Telangana Formation Day, 250 students, male and female, performed Perini thanks to the efforts of Department of Culture Director Mamidi Harikrishna. As part of the International Kite Festival held in Hyderabad under the able guidance of Guru Kalakrishna, his troupe performed the dance Perini at People’s Plaza, while D Prakash and Raj Kumar along with their team performed at Agha Khan Academy, Ravirala (V). In 2015, the Telangana government honoured Kalakrishna and in 2016, Prakash Dumpeti for their outstanding contribution in the field of dance.

Perini, Regaining Glory!

Kalakrishna, renowned Kuchipudi and Andhra Natyam exponent, popular for his portrayal of Satyabhama and disciple of Guru Nataraja Ramakrishna, Kalakrishna learnt the nuances of Andhra Natyam and Perini from his Guruji only. Enlightening on the dance form Perini, Kalakrishna says that it has its own recognition and reputation among several dance forms of the country.

“This dance form has a performing method which consists of Gargharamu, Vishamamu, Bhavanashrayamu, Kaivaramu, and Geetamu – all performed in a collective and synchronised process either solo or by a team,” he says. Kalakrishna says that the published texts state that Perini dance is to be performed only by male artistes, and there are evidences which inform that there were female performers as well.

He says that Guru Ramakrishna visualised it as a male dance. “Nandhikeshava’s Bharatanavam also consists of a graphical explanation about the Perini dance form. The characteristic features of Perini, costumes, music instruments, behavioural regulation on the stage for performers and the Panchangas,” says Kalakrishna.

Delving into the history, Kalakrishna says that Jayapa named the five constituting elements of Perini as –Nritya, Vikata, Kaivara, Garghara and Geeta. He left out Vishama and Bhavashraya from the purview of these Panchangas. He adds that while researching, Nataraja Ramakrishna garu observed that during the time of Srikrishnadevarayalu of Vijayanagara and Nayak kings of Tanjavore, Perini dance was initially practiced and performed by male artists, and gradually accommodated female performers as well. Writing in his famous text, ‘History of Dances in South India: Perini Shiv Tandava’, Guruji visualised how the Shaivite tradition based Perini gradually transformed into Vaishnavite tradition based dance.  According to Kalakrishna, Guruji felt that the reasons for this could be plenty.  “It could be neglect by successive rulers, failing to attract the public. Guruji based his research and recreation of Perini work in Kakatiya Empire, their art and literature, their temples as main resources and sources,” he said.

Kalakrishna Garu says that over the years, whoever has been performing Perini have been doing it on recorded music that has been done by Guruji. Apart from appointing teachers to teach students Perini, the Telangana Government should appoint gurus and other accompanying artists so that more research can be conducted in this dance form. “For every guru appointed, there should be one accompanying artist like vocalist, mridangam and so on,” he says. All this is a necessity so that the text can be built for this dance form for future presentations. Exhibitions of this art form among the people will help in popularizing Perini dance.

The Kuchipudi exponent recalls that he played nattuvangam when the Perini team had gone to Africa to perform in 1987. As he was very close to Nataraja Ramakrishna, his guru trained him in Perini. “To give life to Perini, it was included as part of the Andhra Natyam course in 1995,” Kalakrishna says. In 1985, workshops and lecture demonstrations were held to propagate Perini. Kalakrishna says that Nataraja Ramakrishna curated a 45-minute long performance primarily focusing on Garghara. “The performance received applause from everyone and he continued training dancers in the country as well as abroad for four decades,” Kalakrishna says.

Perini, Regaining Glory!

Prakash D, who has learnt Perini from Guru Nataraja Ramakrishna and Kalakrishna, says that Perini flourished greatly during the reign of Emperors Ganapati Deva, Rudrama Devi and Prataparudra of Kakatiya Dynasty from the 10th to 13th Century A.D. “In those days, this dance was performed to inspire and invigorate Prerana warriors,” says Prakash. Perini Prakash as he is popularly known, sharing an interesting aspect states that music is the backbone of this art form. “The use of conch, drums, bells and rhythmic syllables change the atmosphere, enabling dancers to reach high energy levels,” he says. Prakash says that Perini Lasyam was an ancient temple dance tradition performed in aramas, temples and courts of kings by women. “This Lasya tradition existed since the 2nd century A.D. Perini Lasyam has exquisite foot work, captivating expressions, splendid and graceful body movement. This dance had its Golden Era during the period of Chalukyas and Kakatiyas,” says Prakash.

The dancer says that after formation of Telangana State, Perini has been regaining its lost glory. Kalakrishna says Gargharamu is an important constitutive element of Perini. “The movement generated in gajjelu (bells) through moving the feet, shoulders, and the chest is the basis for today’s classical as well as traditional and folk dance,” he says. Kalakrishna garu says that Garghara is either along with the tala or without it, the movement of foot work in a systematic process generating anklets sounds systematically.

On the other hand, Raj Kumar says Perini was performed to invoke Lord Shiva, and was called Prerana or Perini Tandavam. “This dance belongs to the majestic Tandavam Style, which has a very quick tempo and speed depicting ‘Veera’ and ‘Raudra’ rasa of king of dance Nataraja. Raj Kumar says that the State government response to Perini dance is good as they want to protect the culture and pass it on to the children.

Perini, Regaining Glory!

Raj Kumar, who has been conducting camps for school students, says that Perini is a high energy dance. “The children in schools are very keen to learn this art form,” he says. Student of Kalakrishna and Prakash, Kumar says that more girls are keen to learn Perini than boys.

In 2006, at Kaktiya Utsav, Perini workshop was held, where many dancers – male and female, came to learn dance. “Guru Nataraja Ramakrishna by painstaking studying the sculptures in the Ramappa Temple and other texts has recreated the Perini Art form and it is our duty to protect it and not let it fall into neglect again,” Raj Kumar says.

The Perini dancer believes that during the Kakatiya rule, women performed in the garba gudi of temples from morning till night – the lasyam style. “The men performed the Tandavam style and somewhere after sometime it may have stopped,” he opines.

Raj Kumar, a Perini dancer is confident that he can survive on the art form. “I can teach, and perform this attractive dance,” he says. Raj Kumar has the credit of performing 101 days of Perini in the State. In a book published by the State Akademi, Natraja Ramakrishna revealed that Jayapa mentioned Prerana dance, virile in nature and performed before Lord Shiva invoking the God, the ashta dikpalas, etc. He mentions that while undergoing study in Sri Kalahasti, Ramakrishna came across some jatis. The Prerana jatis were also published in Bharatarnava. In his research, Ramakrishna states that he studied the Agama texts, especially detailing the traditions of dance therein and restructured the dance form Perini.

His disciples say that the invocative dance is awe inspiring and spectacular. “Guruji took pains to choreograph an all-night Perini performance at Ramappa Temple, where many of the dance forms mentioned by Jayapa must have been performed.” The AP Sangeet Natak Academy set up a training camp, on January 1, 1973, which ran for four months. At the camp, along with female performers, Shaivite tradition based centric Perini was taught to male performers. Another camp was organized in the second half of 1973, which lasted for six months and culminated in presenting Perini at the Republic Day in 1974. Many Perini dancers believe that Perini is the dance of the warriors. They say that the dance derives its name from Prerana, which means inspiration.

“The warriors performed this dance before the idol of Lord Nataraja, as a mode of worship, before leaving for the battlefield to invoke Lord Shiva to attain high frenzy needed for the war. The dance begins with Gargara and concludes with a Shiva Panchamukha Shabda Nartanam in praise of Lord Shiva,” they say. Many in the audience get goose bumps by watching the high frenzy dance.

The Perini dancers with ash smeared on their body dance to the beat of the drums, vigorously and in frenzy. This goes on, till the Perini dancers feel the power of Lord Shiva in them and derive inspiration. Perini dance is said to be both spiritual and artistic.

Comments (0)

Subscribe to this comment's feed

Write comment

smaller | bigger

busy
 

Kaleidoscope

  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!
  • Amazing Andhra Pradesh!!!

Chai.Coffee.Company - C3

Ivy Woods

Hyderabad Arts Festival

KPMA Business Publications

AP - Facts

Tirumala – Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh, India), the most venerated Vaishnavite shrine of Lord Venkateshwara and his consorts, is the richest Hindu temple and the most visited religious center in the world

Polls

Do we need younger politicians in the State and at the Centre? Do younger politicians make better leaders?