KUCHIPUDI (KRISHNA) The village of Kuchipudi in the Krishna district, where the classical Indian dance of the same name flourishes, has lost its ambassador with the death of the multifaceted Pasumarthy Keshav Prasad (August 1952 – 2021). The doyen of the Kuchipudi dance died here on May 7th.
In April he suffered a heart attack while curating a classical dance festival here, but survived. This time, however, he lost the fight against COVID-19.
As a direct student of Vedantam Parvateesam and Padma Bhushan Vempati China Satyam, Keshav Prasad accepted Vempati’s commitment to lead 37-year-old Akhila Bharata Kuchipudi Natya Kala Mandali (ABKNKM) since his founding years.
Sangeet Natak Academy laureate, Vedantam Radheshyam, says: “Mr. Keshav (as affectionately called by the Kuchipudi Gurus) directed the ABKNKM according to what our previous Gurus had dreamed of. He brought the dancers of all other classical dance forms to our village under the auspices of the ABKNKM. He was the ambassador between the Kuchipudi dance and the village in the rest of the dance world. We couldn’t find anyone to replace him. “
Mr. Keshav Prasad was born into the family of Pasumarthy Subramanya Sastri, a well-known yakshagan expert, and spent most of his life in the village of Kuchipudi, where he was supposed to oversee the rituals of the goddess Balatripura Sundari in the village temple. He had initiated two of his three sons for the Kuchipudi dance – Mr. Mutyam (Dance Guru) and Mr. Hari (Mridangam) – and passed the dance tradition on to the next generation.
Vempati Venkat, son of Vempati China Satyam, told the story The Hindu, “The death of Mr. Keshav poses many questions to me. Who should I speak to about Kuchipudi’s history in his absence? He replaced my father, but I am orphaned now. ”
Keshav Prasad had been instrumental in reviving the Guru-Sishya Parampara teaching method in the House of Vempati by signing a pact with Krishna University (KRU) to offer three courses from the 2015 academic year – Certificate, Diploma and PG Diploma . 16.
Many KRU Vice Chancellors, including V. Venkayya and S. Rama Krishna Rao, previously admitted that the Kuchipudi dance became the face of their institution.