Kaladeepa : B. Deepak Kumar & Preethikala.
(Bharatanatyam performers and teachers)
‘Art has brought these artistes together to flourish as the dancing couple. Having the same ideologies and interests, they work hard to keep Bharatanatyam flourish in their land- Puttur.’
Vidwan B. Deepak Kumar
Vidwan B.Deepak Kumar, son of Sri D. Bhavani Shankar and Smt. Shashi Prabha is an avid Bharathanatyam artiste hailing from Puttur, Coastal Karnataka, who is committed towards propagation of Indian dance traditions. His unique distinction in depicting the NATYA-YOGA is a remarkable one. His passion for dance was discovered and nurtured at a tender age under the guidance of Guru Ambale Rajeshwari of Madikeri. His dancing skills in Bharathanatyam were honed by late Guru Smt.Narmada,Bangalore in Tanjore style and Guru Sri Ullal Mohan Kumar,Mangalore in Pandanallur style. He has also attended workshops where he has received intensive guidance from internationally acclaimed Gurus and dancers like Smt.Savitri Jagannathan, Smt.Kalanidhi Narayanan, Smt.Priyadarshini Govind, Sri C.V.Chandrashekar and Padmashri Adayar K.Lakshmanan.
Deepak is also learning another Classical dance form, Kuchipudi, from the well known dancer and Guru of Bangalore Smt.Veena Murthy Vijay. He had also initial training from Smt. Sandhya Rani of Warangal.
He also extends his interest in learning Karnatic vocal and has got training under Smt. Hema Subba Rao, Sri Kanchana Narayana Bhat, Krishnagopal and Ramakrishna Bhat in Puttur.
Vidushi Preethikala, daughter of Sri K.Sudhakar, Smt. Prema Sudhakar and wife of Vidwan B Deepak Kumar, Director and choreographer Sri Mookambika Cultural Academy, Puttur had her scholarly training in Bharathanatyam under the renowned Guru Vidushi Smt. Yasha Ramakrishna, Director Hejje-Gejje Manipal. Preethi has experienced the new dimensions of the art by attending workshops where she was guided by the legendary gurus like Padmashri Adayar K.Lakshmanan, Smt. Bragha Bassel and Sri Sheejith Krishnan.
Preethikala was fortunate enough to experience the unique training of Manipuri regional dances in a workshop under the guidance of legendary artiste Padmashri Darshana Zhaveri.
Preethikala is also a professional in Karnatic music. She has her initial training in karnatic music under the careful and loving guidance of her grandfather Late Vidwan. K.Madhava Acharya,Udupi where she completed her Junior grade exam with the distinction. Later she started learning under Vidushi Uma Udayashankar,Manipal under whose guidance she completed her Senior grade exam successfully. Later on she had her advanced and scholarly guidance for Vidwat exam under the watchful eyes of Late Vidwan Shrinath Marate, Vidwan Madhoor P Balasubramaniam and Vidushi Madhavi Bhat.
Preethikala attended workshops directed by some scholars in Karnatic music like Dr.T.S.Satyavathi, Smt Neela Ramgopal, Smt. M.S.Vidya, Sri R.K.Padmanabha of Bangalore and Sri Chengalpet Ranganathan, Smt. Suguna Purushothaman, Sri G.Ravikiran of Chennai where she learnt many different techniques of South Indian classical music.
Deepak Kumar, an M.Com and M.F.A.Graduate, passed his Bharathanatyam Junior Grade Exam with Third Rank to the state in 1990. He is a recipient of National Merit Talent Search Scholarship (by CCRT, New Delhi) in Bharathanatyam. He has passed Bharathanatyam Senior and Vidwat grade examination with a distinction. Deepak has done Diploma in Choreography from Bangalore University under the able guidance of internationally acclaimed Guru Smt.Maya Rao and Masters in Fine Arts from Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu. He has passed Karnatic Music Senior Grade Exam with a First Class. He has also done a paper presentation on ‘Study of dancing traditions in Tulunadu through ages’ for All India Conference conducted by Dance Researcher’s Forum, Bangalore.
Preethikala, who has done Bachelors in Arts, completed her Vidwat Grade examination in both Bharathanatyam and Karnatic Music with flying colours and she is the only artiste in coastal Karnataka who has passed Vidwat grade exam of new syllabus in both art forms i.e., Bharathanatyam and Karnatic Music. She has received State scholarship from Sangeetha Nritya Academy for Bharathanatyam and also Central Government scholarship from Ministry of Culture in the field of Bharathanatyam.
Deepak Kumar has done his Rangapravesha in the year 1996 at Mangalore Town Hall and has given more than 600 stage performances all over India winning laurels from art lovers and appreciation from critics. He has the honour and distinction of having extensively toured and performed in various places such as Maha Masthakabhisheka at Shravanabelagola,Venur and Dharmasthala, Udupi Paryaya, Lakshadeepotsava at Dharmasthala and Udupi, during festivals at Kollur, Sirsi, Shringeri, Subrahmanya, Tirupati, Payyanur, Trissur, Mysore, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Chennai, Raipur and Jagadalpur in Chattisgadh, Mumbai and Pune and various occasions like All India Kannada Conference held at Mangalore, Moodabidri, Belgaum,Gangavathi and Shimoga, programmes of Kannada Culture Dept., Sangeeta Nrithya Academy, Lalitha Kala Academy, SPIC-MACAY, Alva’s Nudisiri and Virasat ,All India Youth Festival and Karavali Utsav held in Mangalore, International Yoga Conference held in Mangalore University, Every Friday Programme in Bangalore,etc. He has also performed in Brahmothsava in ISKCON and Sai Baba Mandir, SAMANVAY festivals in Bangalore and Purusha Festival in Mangalore. Deepak is also selected as an A grade artiste of Delhi Doordarshan.
Preethikala did her Arangetram in Bharathanatyam successfully on 6th December 2008 at Rajangana, Shri Krishna Mutt Udupi. She has given more than 400 stage performances and has actively participated in the dance productions of Hejje-Gejje. To name a few are Udupi Paryaya Utsav, Karavali Nrityakala Parishat’s festival in Mangalore, Nrityaradhana-hosted by Paryaya Sri Kaniyur Matt Udupi & Nrityaniketan,Udupi, Vishnudasa Memorial Trust Festival in Mysore, Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sammelana in Udupi, ‘INCIDENT’ a cultural Fest cunducted by NITK Surathkal and some of the International conferences held in Manipal. Presently she is under going the training in dance from her husband Vidwan Deepak Kumar,
She has also given many music concerts, both classical and semi-classical. She is an artiste of AIR, Mangalore. She has rendered her service as a dance and music teacher at the reputed Little Rock Indian School Brahmavar and Sharada Vidyaniketana Public School Talapady Mangalore. Presently she is assisting her husband in their home productions of the academy. Preethi has also to her credit singing in Bangalore Doordarshan for ‘Noopura Nada’, a programme related to classical dance and she has a unique quality of doing Nattuvangam along with vocal simultaneously. She has given Karnatic concerts in Perdur, Manipal, for Navarathri festivals in Kollur, Dharmasthala, ‘Udyanavanadalli Sanjeya Raga’ a programme series in Udupi, ‘Purandaradasa Aradhanothsava’ in Udupi and Surathkal which were all arranged by Kannada & Culture Department, Udupi.
‘Kaladeepa’ is a duet performance of Deepak Kumar and Preethikala where they have performed in some of the prestigious stages like Vishwa Kannada Sammelana held at Belgaum, ADA Rangamandira in Bangalore, World Dance Day Celebration and ‘Sai Nrityotsav’ hosted by Sai Arts International Foundation at Bangalore, ‘Rajatha Darbar’ dance and music series conducted by prestigious Ragadhana, Udupi, ‘Mysuru Habba’dance festival held at Jaganmohan Palace Mysore conducted by Shri Nimishamba Dance Promoters Mysore, Rotary Convention Manipal & Puttur and so on. Deepak’s institution has also a reputation of participating and performing research oriented productions related to Child-education and Ganga pollution in Dance Researcher’s Forum held in Bangalore. Deepak and along with their troupe have also performed in Abu Dabhi’s ‘India Social and Culture Centre’ on the occasion of Kannada Rajyothsava in the year 2013.
Deepak has been awarded:
- Prathibha Deepa (1992) – instituted by local newspaper ‘Suddi Bidugade’ for being an outstanding artiste of Puttur Taluk.
- Ranga Surabhi (1993)- instituted by Ranga Surabhi Cultural Organisation, Bangalore.
- Outstanding Young Person Award (1997) – by Mangalore Junior Chamber.
- TOYI Award (Ten Outstanding Young Indian Award) 1997 – by Indian Junior Chamber Zone XV.
- Sri Krishnanugraha Award (1998) – by the Sheer of Paryaya Shri Krishna Mutt, Udupi
- ARYABHATA (1999) – by the Aryabhata Cultural Organisation in Bangalore.
- Sowrabha Prathibha Puraskar (2000) – by Suma Sowrabha Fortnightly Magazine of Mangalore.
- Vishweshwaraiah Youth award (2001) – by Dr. Sir M.Vishweshwariah Prathistana, Bangalore.
- RASHTREEYA RATHAN( 2002) – by Global Economic Council, New Delhi
- Dr. Rajkumar Rajyotsava Award (2007) – by Dr. Rajkumar International Foundation, Bangalore
- Vishwakarma Kalaratna (2008) – instituted by Jevargi Taluk Vishwakarma Committee
- First in national level Bharathanatyam competition conducted by Paryaya Shri Krishnapura Mutt, Shri Krishna Mutt Udupi.
- First prize along with the rolling trophy at the national level music competition conducted by Gopinathadasa Nyasa Trust, Bengaluru.
- Third in national level Bharathanatyam competition conducted by Gopinathadasa Nyasa Trust Bengaluru.
- Sadguru Sadhana Ratna Award from Guru Sai International Cultural Academy Bangalore.
- Mahadeva Award and Kalashree Award from shree Mahadeva Education Trust, Kundapur for the achievement in both the field of music and dance.
- State level Yuvapratibha-2006 award from Kannada and Culture Department Bengaluru.
- Recipient of prestigious ARYABHATA INTERNATIONAL AWARD for Dance and Music in the year 2013.
- Recipient of State scholarship from Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy for Bharathanatyam and semi-classical music.
Various institutions have felicitated Deepak in recognition of his achievement and distinction. To mention a few,
- Karnataka Association of Coimbatore and Academy of Indian dances of Tirupathi.
- During Vishwa Tulu Sammelana held at Town Hall, Mangalore (Dec.1994) Deepak was honoured as Child Artiste by Deputy Home Minister P.M.Sayeed,Govt. of India in the esteemed presence of Dr.D.Veerendra Heggade of Dharmasthala.
- He was honoured during Mahamasthakabhisheka in Shravanabelagola, and at Dakshina Kannada District Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, 1999 in Savanoor,Puttur.
- Deepak was honoured with the title NRITYA THANDAVA by Shri H.C. Shrikantaiah, Honourable Revenue Minister, Govt. of Karnataka in Aremadanahalli,Arakalagud,Hassan Dist. in the auspicious presence of the sheer Sri Sri Sri Shiva Sujnanamurthy Swamiji.
- Both Deepak and Preethikala along with their family were felicitated in ‘India Social and Culture Centre’, Abu Dabhi, UAE by Dr.B.R.Shetty, Patron of UAE Kannadigas and Sri M.K.Lokesh, Ambassador of India to UAE during Kannada Rajyothsava celebration by Abu Dabhi Karnataka Sangha.
Sri Mookambika Cultural Academy ®
Deepak is running his own dance institution Sri Mookambika Cultural Academy (R.) in Puttur where he is nurturing many talents in the classical field. His skill in choreography is borne out by many of his students having won prizes and awards in different competitions and festivals all over India. Preetikala supports her husband in all the sections of dance and music in order to enhance the reputation of their institution Sri Mookambika Cultural Academy. He is also assisted by his mother and brother in teaching, costume designing and all other related activities required by the institution. They have rare skill of being able to design and stitch their own costumes, which is rare to see among the dancers of today.
Apart from performing, Deepak has choreographed many dance numbers which have been appreciated by the critics and art lovers. He has choreographed some dance dramas like Ramayana, Krishna Leela, Devi Mahatme, Pavana Ganga Pathitha Taranga, Amrita Mathana, Kateelu Sri Bramarambike, Ajeya Bahubali, Jain Theerthankara’s Panchakalyana Sthavana, Samavasarana, Navavidha Bhakthi, Yesu Janana, Ashta-Lakshmi, etc… His masterpiece is Kolluru Sri Mookambike which is being appreciated by all art lovers and critics for its excellent choreography. Deepak is regularly teaching the students of Alvas Education Foundation, Moodabidri where a number of productions have come up like Vishwa, Shivanavarasa, Panchabhootha, Ashtadikpalaka, Nadageethe, Ranjanimala, Bho Shambho etc, under his guidance in which Navagraha, Panchanana and Navadurge stand as the most outstanding productions which is being appreciated by all choreographers, gurus, critics and have seen more than 100 shows. Deepak is an ardent Drawing Artist and has won numerous prizes in various competitions during his childhood. He has completed his Higher Grade Drawing Exam with flying colours. He was very good Skater in his High School days and has given a performance too.
Deepak also specializes in Nattuvangam and has played the key role of a Natuvanaar for many dancers.
Sri Mookambika Cultural Academy has hosted and arranged many cultural ventures like numerous festivals; to name a few are Aryabhata Natyasandhya, Narthanaavarthana, Kalashraya Natyavali, Shadvidha Margini, Gadinada Kalothsava, The couple aims at popularizing and spreading this traditional art form to the coastal people of Karnataka, across India and around the world.