Raja and Radha Reddy
Raja and Radha Reddy, the world famous dancing couple, excel in the art of Kuchipudi, They have taken this dance to a new height by adhering to the traditional style and technique of Kuchipudi dance. They are named among the major dancers of India for their excellence and perfection in this dance form. Both of them were born the state of Andhra Pradesh, Raja Reddy was born in 1944 in Narsapur and Radha Reddy in 1952 in Kotalgaon.
Raja and Radha Reddy were trained by Guru Vedantam Prahlada Sarma, at Sri Siddhendra Kalakshetram in Kuchipuri village and at Kalakshetram, Eluru. For a very short period, Radha Reddy learnt Odissi from Shri Mayadhar Raut and Raja Reddy was trained in Kathak at the Music College of Hyderabad. Raja Reddy’s other wife Kaushalya, who is Radha’s sister, and their daughters Yamini and Bhavana are also established Kuchipudi dancers.
On the stage Raja and Radha Reddy form a perfect couple, portraying the masculine strength and the feminine grace. They symbolize the classical couples of Hindu mythology–such as Shiva-Parvati, Vishnu-Lakshmi, Rama-Sita and Krishna-Radha. In 1976, they established an institution for dance called ‘Natya Tarangini’ and popularized the traditional dance form of Kuchipudi among the younger generations.
Their maiden international performance as a couple was at the Avignon Festival in France in 1974. The have participated in many International Festivals like the Salzburg in Austria, Edinburgh Festival, All Star Ballet Gala Festival in Japan and International Dance Festivals in U.K. and U.S.A and many more. They have performed Kuchipudi, on various national and international stage for more than four decades. Apart from performing on stage, they visit different Universities and give lectures and demonstrations, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They even conduct dance workshops in various places of the world including U.S.A and U.K.
Raja and Radha Reddy have been honored by many national and international awards for their unparalleled contribution in the field of classical dance. In 1983, they were honored by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. They were given the Padma Shri in 1984 and the Award of Sahitya Kala Parishad, Delhi in 1988. For giving Kuchipudi dance international recognition, they received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1991. Some of the other prestigious National awards conferred upon them are Padmabhushan and Nrityachoodamani award etc.