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Home Cover Features Rising Stars!

Rising Stars!

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Rising Stars!

Children’s Day, which falls on November 14, is celebrated across the state in all schools. Our country has been bestowed with many talented youngsters, be it in the field of technology, music, dance, painting, or sports. Today’s generation wants to excel in all fields. Nurture children with love and see them grow into young individuals.

Look around and you will find chubby cheeked, dimpled young boys and girls, who will bowl you out with their innocence. Sometimes, you see bawling babies refusing to go to school and little older ones enjoying the cycle rides down the lane or in the apartment block. All will agree that children are the future of our country and need to be nurtured with love and care.

Our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was very keen that all children must be given equal opportunities and must be cared to become good citizens. His birthday which falls on November 14 is celebrated as Children’s Day. However, the World over November 20 is observed as Children’s Day. There are many enthusiastic young boys and girls and even sometimes adults who fancy wearing a Nehru jacket with a rose on this day.

In our country, our founders of the Constitution have guaranteed Right to Education to all children till the age of 14 years. Of late, the Union governments are doing a lot to promote Girl Education and giving incentives to girls to motivate them to come to schools. There are many NGOs working to free children  working as child labourers and putting them back on Education track.

Among today’s Children there will be many, who will become doctors, engineers, scientists, lawyers, teachers, dancers, musicians, artists, sportsmen and keep the Indian flag flying high. In schools, on Children’s Day, there are cultural programmes and sports events for the children.

Asawari Mahesh Bhagwat, Class VIII student of Vidyaranya High School, began learning dance at the age of five years. It was her mother who was keen that her daughter must learn an art form. “I followed my sister Maitreyi’s footsteps, who is also learning dance under Guru Yashoda Thakore,” says Asawari.  As a child, Asawari’s first show was a school event, dancing to Ganesha bhajan. “I have not participated in any dance competitions but have been a part of dance programmes, the recent one being at Sri Ramalayam Temple at Jubilee Hills on the occasion of Dasara festivities,” says the 12-year-old dancer. With a smile on her lips, she shares that it was fun playing the Lanka king Ravan.

Rising Stars!

Apart from idolizing her guru, Asawari has seen dancers like Geeta Ganesan, Sindhuja, Sampreeti, Hari sir, Archana and others in the Natyasamgraha team performing.

Going to a dance class is a part of everyday life for the young enthusiast. “We have dance class from 5-7 PM with breaks and when there is a programme coming up, it lasts till 8 PM,” she says. On managing studies with dance, she says that she finishes off her homework before going to dance class. “I make little adjustments if my exams are coming up, but I love dance,” says Asawari.

On whether she wants to pursue dance as a career, the Vidyaranya School girl says that she is keen to continue dance, apart from pursuing regular studies.

Sirichandana  Bolla, Class VII student of Chinmaya Vidyalaya, has been learning dance since the last three years. “It was my mother Sada Lakshmi who wanted that I should learn dance,” says 12-year-old Sirichandana.  The young Kuchipudi dancer also has been learning Carnatic music from Ravi sir. “My music class is at the dance class only. Even my brother, who is in Class III is pursuing music,” she says.

The youngster says that she enjoys dancing as it helps her to be fit and graceful too. Sirichandana shares that she has taken part in 10 programmes and the recent one being in September in Tirupati. She admits that she has not taken part in any competitions and she daily practices dance.

“I go to class daily and practice dance,” Sirichandana says. The Chinmaya student agrees that dance is her passion and she dreams of becoming a doctor.

Rising Stars!

Dancer of Kuchipudi and Vilasini Natyam styles, Dr. Yashoda Thakore, runs the Rinda Saranya Kuchipudi Dance Academy at Begumpet. Yashoda advices her students to first watch, absorb and remember what they learnt at the school. “I tell them not to practice at home. As they come to class daily, I ask the students to savour the experience and be aware of the steps, keep remembering details,” she says.

According to the Vilasini Natyam expert, the children must follow the instructions, of turning the feet, raising elbows to excel in dance in the future. “In the beginning, they should be able to visualise and grasp things. Till they get adjusted legs will be painful, this lasts almost a year,” she says. “For being successful in the career, there should be complete commitment, good communication skills, and genuinely believe in what they are saying – not talk anything wrong about the dance,” Yashoda says.

The Kuchipudi guru says that as a teacher she doesn’t put a student on stage very early, even though some of them are keen. “Sometimes early and frequent exposure does more harm than good. The dance may lack Abhinaya- the feelings. I feel the newness must not be lost. Sometimes over exposure can be harmful,” she says. Yashoda is happy that there are opportunities galore these days and they must be picked judiciously. “On some occasions, it has been seen that unless there is a programme, students don’t practice. There must be a good mix of dance and practice,” she says.

To pursue the career in the long run, Yashoda advices students to do homework on theory and dance and learn the language for perfect expression.

Hindustani vocalist, playback singer and founder of Rageshree Foundation and Academy Harini Rao agrees that lot of young people are taking to classical music. “Some children as young as six have such inquisitive minds and that is very inspiring for me as a teacher. I have about 25 students and more than half of them are in the age group of 5 to 17. A lot of credit goes to parents who introduce classical music to their toddlers. That ensures a certain liking and ‘taste’ for them very early, to grasp the nuances of classical music,” Harini says.

Rising Stars!

The vocalist states that there’s nothing as a time limit to perform on stage. “There has to be enough training and learning that must be put into it. I for one have been learning as a toddler and was seriously training only for the last 12 years. I completed Sangeet Visharad in 2008 and began performing four years back and started teaching only two years back. Still, I feel I have a long way to go on the performance circuit. So it is important that a good amount of sadhana and riyaaz is put in before one thinks of going onstage,” she says.

Harini says that parents of her students understand what it takes to go to the level of performance. “But, it is important to ‘feel’ the stage as a learner after all classical music is a performing art! So I have regular concerts that involve my students in all aspects of stage - including organizing, preparation and performance,” the singer says.

Recalling an anecdote as a child, Harini says that when she was five-years-old and had just about started learning music, she had gone out to attend a concert with some aunts. “One of them asked me teasingly if I’d sing onstage too. Apparently I said, sure! Arrange accompanying artists for me and I’ll give a kutchery too,” Harini shares with a smile. The artist says that there’s no such thing as a right age to learn music. “Whenever you think of learning, find yourself a guru and just start! And once you do, give yourself the time to get involved. Classical arts are slowly cooked into your soul and give you lifelong bliss. It’s more than what I can express in words. So don’t be in a hurry, enjoy the journey,” she says.

Skills for being successful, without batting an eyelid, Harini says “Talent of course, commitment, perseverance and most importantly, love. Love for the art, love for yourself and the stage. It’s a very spiritual experience as well, so it is important to be in love with the art and the belief that it’ll fetch you what you’re seeking.”

The young talented performer says: “Apart from the obvious relaxation and entertainment it provides, practicing music from a young age has proved to aid in cognitive and analytical skills in children.”  She confesses that she has personally benefitted from having Hindustani music in her life since childhood. “This also opened avenues for me to appreciate language, literature and art deeper,” Harini adds.

Rising Stars!

Harini’s student Varun recently won special recognition at the annual Pt. Jasraj-Rotary Club of Hyderabad Scholarships for Music and Fine arts and had the opportunity to sing before Pandit ji himself. In fact for a young entrant to sing before a stalwart is a big thing. “Varun was calm and graceful and sang beautifully,” she says.

On any given day, Varun will bowl his audience with ‘Narayana rama ramana’ - a very popular natyageet. He regularly sings with the Hindustani vocalist every time she is performing. The young lad loves Raag Yaman, Bheempalasi and Bhajans.  Pandit Bhimsen Joshi’s bhajan’s are his favourites. ‘Pandari Nivasa Sakhya Panduranga’ an all-time favourite.

Slowly and steadily another child artist eight-year-old Koosu aka Avish Juluri is following the footsteps of his mother Sravanthi Juluri. Avish has grown up in the world of colours, brushes and canvasses. “I made my first official canvas painting at the age of three,” he says and adds that his mom has been an inspiration.

The Class IV student of Hillside School has got all his replies on the art world by closely observing his mom. “I am passionate about environment and growing issues of violence,” says Avish. He wishes for the world to be a safe and a pleasant place for children and mankind.

Avish’s longing for a greener environment full of wild flowers and butterflies are visible in his works. Avish is at ease while handling canvases of various sizes and knows exactly what he wants to portray. “Occasionally, I break away from the use of brushes and painting knifes, and use many household items to create form and texture-it could be anything from sponges, forks and so on,” says Avish with a twinkle in his eye.

The cherubic child had his first solo exhibition two years ago in a city gallery, where he exhibited over 70 paintings. Avish has not looked back since then.

Rising Stars!

Deepa Kiran, Founder, Story Arts India, is a storyteller, educationist, writer and voice-over artist. “This beautiful journey formally started in 2000, with telling stories to students of English in government schools,” she says. Deepa says that eight years down the line, with a handful of children in the local neighborhood in a lovely little place called Deolali, in Maharshtra, she held the first storytelling camp.

“We hoped at least 15 children would turn up, but we had to refuse registrations after we crossed 25 on Day one itself,” she says.

Explaining about the camp, Deepa says that 3 to 15-year-olds came together for three hours every day, for three weeks. “We all got infected with the love of stories, music, dance, craft and laughter. We even performed for the parents on the final day. This small attempt was a big hit. We then came to tell stories to children in Hyderabad. Soon we grew to telling stories to children across the twin Telugu speaking states, and later across the country,” Deepa says.

The story teller says that they tell stories from two-year-olds to a 102-year-olds. “We tell stories to housewives to businessmen, teachers and principals, and corporate executives and management heads, artists and academicians, and more,” she says.

Deepa believes that storytelling needs to be woven with music, and dance, drawings and drama. “We tell stories with constant interaction and active participation from the audience,” she says.

Started in 2010, Hyderabad Children’s Theatre Festival, the brainchild of Vaishali Bisht, co-founded by Priyankaa Vir and Deepthi Pendurty, aims at bringing to the city of Pearls, internationally acclaimed troupes that specialize in theatre for children and young adults with world class production values that have been applauded by critics and audiences alike. Every year, it has been three-days of children’s theatre in the city in the month of November.

“This year the festival is slated for December,” says Deepthi. School children await for these plays as many artistes descend on the city and entertain the little ones. Apart from Vaishali Bisht, Samahaara also runs theatre workshops for children. Some are held throught out the year, while there are special classes in Summer.

Rising Stars!

The city has seen many talented children. Anant Pingle is a master in tabla and Suhit Rakshit plays the sitar beautifully. Both the artists have been bestowed with the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) scholarships. Hyderabad-based Nischal Narayanam, at 19 years became the youngest to qualify the CA final exam in 2015. On the occasion of Children’s Day, let us salute Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu, who battled it out day and night as kids to achieve perfection in their respective sports and win Olympic medals for the country.

Blessed Kid

Hyderabad based two-year-old Rimshas will stump you with her General Knowledge and on any given day can match many school-going kids with ease. She perfectly knows all capitals and Human Biology. This kid has perfected her GK in two months and learns about 20 words daily.  Recently before the media, this wonder kid reeled off capitals of India, Pakistan, Nepal, United Kingdom among many others. The little angel has also knowledge of the solar system, the speed at which the earth rotates and even the type of oxide present in the eye. Daughter of a teacher, Rimshas will start going to school from next year.

 

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