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 V.K. Rishika
Little kids’s little Wonder
Just ten, V.K. Rishika is already a veteran of over a forty Bharatnatyam stage performances.

Hyderabad: A student of Class VI, St. Ann’s High School, Tarnaka, little Baby V.K. Rishika started learning Bharatnatyam at the age of four, under the guidance of guru Abhinaya Kala Ratna Geetha Ganesan of Uttaraa Centre For Performing Arts. It was in the year 2001 Rishika accidentally chanced upon witnessing a dance performance and had showed immediate inclination for the same. Gradually, her fascination for the art form grew with every sensation. "For me, Bharatanatyam is a way of life and _expression, performing this dance invigorates me and I love the adulation that comes my way. This just makes me go on and on", says the child artiste with a maturity beyond her years.

She joined Uttaraa Centre and has ever since been an important part of the Uttaraa troupe. Within a year, under the guidance of her guru Kum Geetha Ganesan, Rishika gave her first stage performance at Balananda Sangham. In the last four years she has given over 40 performances individually as well as part of Uttaraa Troupe at prestigious events such as 1st Afro Asian Games, Avdhoota Datta Peetham at Mysore, Godavari Pushkaram at Basara, NISIET at Hyderabad, The International Association of Lions Clubs, Arts & Crafts Festival, Tirupathi, Shilparamam, Sri Ramachandra Mission at Hyderabad etc and others.

She has donned prominent roles such as "Little Krishna" in the dance dramas of Uttaraa Centre For Performing Arts(UCPA).Endowed with natural beauty and grace, Rishika is well known for maturity in performing. Following the footsteps of her teacher, Rishika is slowly developing a unique niche for herself in the field of Dance.

Her Prodigal talent took her places. As year passed by Rishika came across as an extremely confident dancer and her enthusiasm was infectious." Over the last couple of years, she has given a number of stage performances, including one for the visiting foreign delegates at the inauguration of 1st Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad. She travelled travelled all over to give a performance at Avadhoota Datta Peetham at Mysore. She won many awards and rewards. She won 1st Prizes at various prestigious competitions in Bharatanatyam, such as —All India Competitions, Andhra Balananda Sangham etc. She was also awarded the "BALA RATNA" award by Vasavi Art Theatres. She won 1st prize third time for the years 2001, 2003 and 2004 from Andhra Balananda Sangham. She won first prize in the year 2004 and 2nd prize in the year 2003 in an All India Dance Competition.

"I pay usual attention to my studies also," says Rishika. Though not exactly a topper, Rishika has always scored well. From morning to evening, Rishika keeps herself busy with homework and studies. Before that it is just dance and dance practice for her. She practices dance atleast two hours a day. Besides dance she has been undergoing training in Carnatic Music from Smt. Bhanu Kannan. Presently, Rishika and her elder sister Ashvitha are under the tutelage of ‘Gana Kokila’ Smt. Prema Ramamurthy.

When asked about her future plans, Rishika says she wanted to be a great Bharatanatyam dancer. Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest dance forms of India. It was nurtured in the temples and courts of southern India since ancient times. Today Bharatanatyam is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over India. Due to its wide range of movements and postures and the balanced melange of the rhythmic and mimetic aspects lends itself well to experimental and fusion choreography. She needs to be encouraged as long as she keeps her interest in the dance, informed her guru Kum. Geetha Ganesan.

Her parents Mr. Venkatesh Kumar her father, Mrs. Pramila her mother are very happy about how their daughter is shaping up in the dance. They wanted to encourage Rishika and her elder daughter in whatever they like as long as they keep their interest intact. Mrs. Pramila takes care of extra-curricular as well as academic activities of both the children.


- August' 2004
Reachout News Bureau

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