Chinta Sitaramanajaneeyulu the “Yakshagana Sarwabhowma”
Chinta Sitaramanajaneeyulu the “Yakshagana Sarwabhowma”.
Chinta Sitaramanajaneeyulu, was born in the Telugu year Dundubhi Nama Samvatsaram (1922), Bhadrapada Shudda Ashtami day to Chinta Narayanamurthy and Bhagavathula Sitamma at Kuchipudi village in one of the most illustrious traditional families of Kuchipudi art form.
He is the youngest of the family and had four brothers, Chinta Adinarayana, Chinta Radhakrishnamurthy, Chinta Venkateswarulu (adopted by Darbha family) and Chinta Venkatarathnam and two elder sisters, Jyothi Bhagavatula and Bullama.
His formal education is only upto fifth grade and in his eighth year the legendary ‘Kuchipudi Yakshagana Pittamaha’ Chinta Venkatramayya his father’s elder brother started his formal dance training after performing a puja at the temple. It was indeed a very fortunate auspicious start with the blessings of one of the trinity of Kuchipudi that has stood in good stead for Chinta. He learnt the art form from his father and also from his two elder brothers Chinta Adinarayana and Chinta Radhakrishnamurthy.
He continued his dance training from Vedantam Parvetsam and Vempati Venkatanarayana in his teenage years. His first performance was as early as in his 11th year in the famous Chinta Vari melam as Prahalad in the Kuchipudi Yakshaganam ‘Bhakta Prahalad’. He was good at essaying female personification roles too in the Kuchipudi Yakshaganams. He showed special interest in Ashtapadi, Javali and Tarangas too under the guidance of his elders and also learnt Nattuvangam and vocal music.
Chinta Sitaramanjaneeylu is adept in translating his God given gift as an artist and the boon to have been at a time when the Gurukul system delivered a complete artist. He has acquired the Sastra parigynan from his father’s elders brothers, Chinta Venkatramayya and Krishnaiah, and nuances on dance, music, Kuchipudi Yakshaganam, history of the art form, samskrita rupakam from his Gurus during the training period as part of his grooming.
Having being bestowed with the opportunity to learn from the best in Gurukul system, Sitaramanajaneeyulu performed varied challenging roles with aplomb and passed on the same diligently to the next generation whole heartedly.
He moved to Gudivada town in Krishna district to teach dance in the Kuchipudi Kalakshetra. Chinta married Jonnalgadda Bharathilakshmi from Moova Kodali village in the year 1949.
He comes across as a very tranquil, peaceful artist who has achieved a lot but yet having enormous ‘Guru Bhakthi’ a rarity these days and stands before us a role model, simple but colossal giant as a versatile artist, sincere Guru, a very passionate lover of dance and above all a very grateful person who had a fulfilling journey in Kuchipudi art form.
In the process, his deep understanding of the art form Kuchipudi and ways and means to reach out a wider spectrum of dance practitioners and audience for over five active decades bears testimony to his love, dedication and commitment to the art form.
The list of characters portrayed by him in Kuchipudi Yakshaganams, kalapams touring far and wide with Chinta Venkatramaiah’s ‘Chinta vari melam’ speaks volumes of his ability to adapt to different roles including that of female personification roles for which he was honoured with title, “Siddendra Nartana Puraskar”, from “Kuchipudi nruthya bharathi” and awarded “Vedantam Satyanarayana Sarma Smarak Puraskar.”
Female personification roles unique to Kuchipudi Yakshaganam was one of his forte and he is known for his portrayal of Usha in ‘Usha Parinayam’ , Leelavathi in ‘Prahalada’, Chitralekha in ‘Gayopakhyanam’, Mohini in ‘Mohini-Rukmangadha’, Satyabhama in ‘Bhama Kalapam’ and the milk maid in ‘Golla Kalapam’
The repertoire he has worked out over the years is remarkable and his choreographies, dance dramas bear a unique style which he acquired over a period of time. He lays great stress on Satvika abhinaya while giving Nritta its due importance in his choreographies. He has produced some well appreciated dance drams like “Sagarasoudham” (History of Nagarjuna sagar), Bhakta-Kannappa, Bheeshma pratigna, Mana Bharatam-Maha Bharatam and SvatantrodyamaSamvakaram with imagination and deep understanding of how the dance-dramas should be presented for the contemporary audience without diluting the classical style.
He has three daughters and two sons and he was very liberal in his approach to life. He never forced the art form on any of his children. The first son didn’t show any interest in arts and he left him alone while his second daughter Seethalakshmi was very much interested and so he taught her at time when no girls from the traditional families where into dance per se. As a person with modern outlook he also encouraged his daughter Seetha to take up the art form seriously and sensing the great Yagna that Kuchipudi Legend Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam undertook to spread the art form worldwide, Chinta dedicated whole heartedly his youngest son Chinta Siva Adinarayana who was interested in learning the art form, for the great work. Chinta Sitaramanjaneeylu is always for knowledge sharing and he did constantly encourage the younger generation to learn the art form in the traditional unadulterated system.
The details of his family are as follows:
- His first son, Kasi Viswanathan Sastr worked with AP Electric Board got married to Pasumarthy Subbulakshmi from the Kuchipudi traditional family and they have one son and one daughter.
- His first daughter Madhumati married Bhagavatula Ramasubramanian from the traditional family and they have one son and one daughter who is being trained by Chinta is into performance too.
- His second daughter Seetharatham who learnt dance from him got married to V Viswanatham and they have one son Sai Kiran and one daughter Nagalakshmi.
- His third daughter Umarani is married to Nagaraj and they have one son.
- His second son Siva Adinarayana who is his disciple and also got guidance of Vempati Chinna Satyam, married to Tulasipriya and they have one son.
Chinta Sitaramanajaneeyulu’s contribution to Kuchipudi art form primarily in Kuchipudi, Gudivada and Nagarjuna sagar is well perceivable and appreciated. Chinta Sitaramanajaneeyulu a Sangita Nataka Akademi awardee is popularly known as “Yakshagana Sarwabhowma”.
Kuchipudi Dance Guru
Door Number 17/663
Near KTR Women’s College
GUDIVADA 521 301
Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh.
Contact: +91 94277 72260.
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