Kuchipudi dancer Shoba Naidu passes away

Vizag grieves the death of the renowned dancer.

Renowned Kuchipudi dancer Padma Shri Shobha Naidu died in Hyderabad in the early hours of Wednesday.

A disciple of the legendary guru Vempati China Satyam, Shoba Naidu was born at Anakapalli in Visakhapatnam district in 1956.

“She was admired even by those who were not familiar with dance. Noted dancer Rukmini Devi Arundale is said to have asked her in Chennai whether she was interested in joining films to which she had replied in the negative. Rukmini Devi Arundale told Shoba Naidu that she would do a great service to Kuchipudi, if she confined herself to the dance form,” says Battina Ranga Vikram Kumar of Natraj Music and Dance Academy (NMDA).

“She had declined offers from the noted director K. Viswanath to join films though he had assured her of giving roles as a dancer. In 2013, VMDA had honoured her at Kalabharathi. She was taken in a horse cart from Maddilapalem junction to Kalabharathi and carried in a palanquin into the auditorium. She was honoured with the title ‘Navarasa Natya Kalanidhi. She used to either participate or attend as a guest at dance and cultural programmes in Visakhapatnam city almost every year’” recalls Mr. Vikram Kumar.

Shoba Naidu and another noted Kuchipudi guru Bala Kondala Rao of Visakhapatnam, were roommates in Chennai, when they trained under guru Vempati China Satyam.

She was a perfectionist and never compromised on the art form. Though she was born in Anakapalle, she and her family moved from here. She grew up in Chennai under the tutelage of Vempati China Satyam in his gurukulam. But whenever, she visited Vizag, she was nostalgic and emotional, said Mr. Rambabu of Kalabharathi auditorium.

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