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    September 19th, 2017adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Records, All
    Carnatic vocalist Dwaram Lakshmi receiving the M.S. Subbulakshmi memorial award from K.S. Govindarajan, principal, Government College of Music and Dance, and ZP chairperson Gadde Anuradha, at a function in Vijayawada on Saturday. | Photo Credit: ARRANGED

    Carnatic vocalist Dwaram Lakshmi receiving the M.S. Subbulakshmi memorial award from K.S. Govindarajan, principal, Government College of Music and Dance, and ZP chairperson Gadde Anuradha, at a function in Vijayawada on Saturday. | Photo Credit: ARRANGED

    She has evolved a distinctive style of her own

    The prestigious music award named after Carnatic vocal doyen M.S. Subbulakshmi was given to vocalist Dwaram Lakshmi at a function organised by the Department of Language and Culture at the Ghantasala Government Music College here on Saturday.

    Ms. Lakshmi is a Doctorate in Music and is working as a Grade ‘A’ artist with the All India Radio and Doordarshan. She is proficient in Carnatic Classical and Light Music (Sugam Sangeeth). She is the grand daughter of the legendary violinist Dwaram Venkata Swamy Naidu. She is a third generation musician with both her parents being musicians. Her father Dwaram Bhavanarayana Rao and mother Venkata Varadamma are also legends with many admirers. She is also a pupil of stalwarts like MS Vasantha Kumari, T.R. Subrahmanyam, Pemmaraju Surya Rao and learnt Hindustani from J.V.S. Rao. She has evolved a distinctive style of her own.

    Violin maestro Annavarapu Ramaswamy and Krishna district Zilla Parishad chairperson Gadde Anuradha presented the award to Ms. lakshmi.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Vijayawada – September 16th, 2017

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    M.S.R. Murty showing the VIP robes ahead of the AU convocation, in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

    M.S.R. Murty showing the VIP robes ahead of the AU convocation, in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

    The octogenarian has been supplying the special garment since 1959

    Year after year, M.S.R. Murty has been an integral part of the jubilation of scores of graduates who pass out on the convocation day wearing black ceremonial robes, flinging their black scholars’ hats into the air.

    Since 1959, the 80-year-old has been supplying the black gowns for the convocation of the Andhra University and 50 other colleges in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam.

    Celebrity customers

    From former President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to actors like ANR and Bhanumathi to former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, several important personalities have worn the gowns made by Mr. Murty, a known name in the university and college circles of the city.

    Ahead of the 83rd and 84th combined convocation of the University, the octogenarian is filled with nostalgia as he goes down the memory lane to share some priceless moments.

    “In those days, AU convocation used to be a big affair and meticulously held every year on the second Saturday of December. We had a tailoring unit at our book store in the One Town area, where the black gown with golden border used to be stitched,” says Mr. Murty, who took over his father’s business in 1959. Till about a decade ago, the gowns used to be stitched at the tailoring unit in the city. However, a dwindling interest in tailoring business made it difficult for him to get the work done by local tailors.

    He now gets the gowns made from a Chennai-based unit. This year, he is supplying as many as 1,100 gowns for the convocation.

    The first film celebrity to don his gown was ANR when he was conferred the honorary doctorate degree of ‘Kalaprapoorna’ by the AU in the 70s. Later, it was during Indira Gandhi’s visit the tradition of the ceremonial gown was changed to silk scarves.

    “That particular year, I was ready with gowns when hardly 20 days ahead of the convocation I was informed about the change. I had to rush to Mumbai to get the silk cloth for the scarves and managed to make 100 scarves in a span of a week’s time. Ms. Gandhi was very particular about protocol and there were elaborate arrangements and practice done to avoid any chance of even minor goof-ups. I made a special velvet scarf for Ms. Gandhi for the convocation where she was conferred D. Litt. ,” recollects Mr. Murty.

    Age has certainly not withered him as he gets ready for Saturday’s convocation with two separate sets of gowns – the black ones for the graduates and the coloured ones for VIPs.

    “The gowns are given on rent for ₹150 and I charge a caution deposit of ₹1,000 from each student, which is refunded once the gowns are returned,” says Mr. Murty, who also supplies gowns for convocation of other colleges and universities like GITAM University and Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University.

    With his children settled in their respective careers, Mr. Murty continues his family business with diligence in his twilight years.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Nivedita Ganguly  / Visakhapatnam – July 27th, 2017

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    Traces of the past: A World War II pill box resurfaces in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK;K_R_DEEPAK -

    Traces of the past: A World War II pill box resurfaces in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK;K_R_DEEPAK –

    They should be restored and turned into museums, say historians

    A silent reminder of a significant chapter of Visakhapatnam’s maritime history, the World War – II pill boxes or bunkers dotting the shores of the coast, resurfaces every year during monsoon when the eroded sands uncover these concrete structures hidden beneath for decades.

    Lack of any effort to restore and conserve these historical concrete fortifications, vagaries of nature over the years and public apathy have left these pill boxes in a state of utter neglect, serving as a painful reminder of an earlier time, slowly crumbling back into the sea.

    Maritime history

    At a time when the Tourism Department in association with the district administration is making efforts to create a maritime museum circuit along the beach road, these vintage pill boxes cry for attention. According to historians and retired naval personnel, these pill boxes are a significant link to the maritime history of the region, which should be restored and included in the maritime historical circuit at the Beach Road where the latest addition is the upcoming museum project of the decommissioned TU 142 fighter aircraft.

    Speaking to The Hindu, (Retd.) Cdr B.L.N. Rao, secretary of Navy Foundation – Visakhapatnam Chapter, said: “There are four such pill boxes spotted along the Vizag coast. The one at R.K. Beach is still in good shape and can easily be retrieved. Once it resurfaces from the sand, iron sheets can be kept all around it, the remaining sand can be dug till the base of the structure and with the help of hydraulic jack it can be lifted and shifted.”

    Last year, Cdr. Rao had initiated efforts in the restoration of these critical historical pill boxes by taking the VUDA officials around the locations where they are seen. “Nothing much has been done after that,” he said.

    The pill box at the R.K. Beach is about 20 to 30 feet wide and 10 feet high. “Similar dimensions of pill boxes exist near Kotaveedhi and Lavender Canal. However, the one near the fishing colony of Jalaripeta is nearly four times the size of the others and is beyond repair. That one was used as the command control centre by the British,” he added.

    As conflict in the World War II ramped up, these pill boxes were used to fortify the shores by the British to resist invasion by Japan. According to researchers, most of them were constructed around 1938-1941.

    Old timers recollect the presence of another pill box opposite the Naval Coastal Battery which they say was “mercilessly razed to the ground” in the 1960s when the road was being built. “These defence constructions were considered to be highly confidential during WW-II. Hence, there is no proper documentation of the number of bunkers present along the Vizag coast,” said historian Edward Paul.

    But recently these secret bunkers have piqued the interest of historians, war veterans and enthusiasts alike – and more people are attempting to discover their locations.

    “Proper signage at the locations of the pill boxes can go a long way in showcasing the maritime history of the region,” Mr. Paul added. While efforts to restore a similar British-era bunker discovered inside the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai are being taken, in other parts of the world – the most recent one being in Denmark’s western coast, World War II bunkers have been transformed into museums.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States > Andhra Pradesh / by Nivedita Ganguly / July 24th, 2017

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    City girl Sharanya Mudundi was crowned the ‘Little Miss Grand Sea Intercontinental’ at Grand Sea Universe-2017 held in Sofia, Bulgaria, recently. Adding feathers to her cap, she also won the titles ‘Little Miss Grand Sea Asia-2017’, ‘Miss Popularity’ and ‘Best Interview’ at the fashion pageant .

    Nine-year-old Sharanya represented India and competed with children from 30 countries. She also won the title ‘Little Model Earth India-2017’ and ‘Grand Prix Winner Model-2017’ at an international children’s pageant ‘Little Model Earth’ held at Johannesburg, South Africa, in March this year.

    Speaking to TOI, Sharanya said, “I was on cloud nine after I won the titles at Sofia. Although it was a challenging task, bagging these has boosted my confidence. The theme being ‘Beauty for a purpose’, there were different rounds during the contest including interview round, national costume round, talent round and evening gown round. I also showcased our rich Indian culture and traditions. I performed yoga in the talent round and it was one of my memorable experience at the global fashion stage.”

    Daughter of MSN Raju and M Swati, Sharanya is a Class-V student in Delhi Public School. Balancing both academics and fashion shows, she said that it is the support of her parents coupled with time management that helps her to focus on both.

    National Director of India Valentina Mishra, who hails from the city, said, “She is the only Indian girl child to represent India on the global map and to win at an international pageant twice this year.” Valentina was awarded the winner of best director of the year by MMSEA BG, an international agency.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Visakhapatnam News / TNN / July 08th, 2017

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    A file picture of the TU 142 aircraft. | Photo Credit: C_V_Subrahmanyam

    A file picture of the TU 142 aircraft. | Photo Credit: C_V_Subrahmanyam

    ‘Transporting disassembled parts of TU 142 to the site will be completed by weekend’

    Work on assembling the decommissioned TU 142 fighter aircraft to convert it into a museum is expected to begin soon at the site earmarked for it on the Beach Road, to inaugurate it by August 15.

    The inauguration was planned to coincide with the official Independence Day function of the state government proposed in the city.

    However, the Independence Day function is now being planned elsewhere, and the TU 142 inauguration is likely to take place ahead of it, it is learnt.

    Retired aircraft engineers and other personnel worked for nearly four weeks at the naval airbase, INS Dega, disassembling the aircraft. An internationally reputed agency had been awarded the work on the aircraft museum. The disassembling itself was said to have cost ₹3.5 crore.

    The aircraft, after its decommissioning, flew to Visakhapatnam after the Andhra Pradesh Government evinced interest in converting it into a museum. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu received it at a special function from the Naval authorities.

    “Only formal inauguration will take place and the remaining work will continue,” VUDA vice-chairman P. Basanth Kumar told The Hindu.

    “Transporting the disassembled parts to the site will be completed by this week-end after which assembling them will be taken up,” Mr. Basant Kumar said.

    After the formal inauguration, it would take another two to three months to complete the work.

    Escalator and aerobridge

    “We are planning to set up an escalator and an aerobridge for entry of visitors to the aircraft as it would be difficult to climb up to the elevation, and exit by a staircase,” he said.

    All the spares of TU 145 such as propellers and wings would be put on exhibition with an audio-visual show explaining it, he said.

    A souvenir shop, coffee shop, and video games would also be opened outside the aircraft.

    The museum is being set up by the Tourism Department at an estimated cost of ₹10 crore. VUDA has been assigned the supervising responsibilities.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Visakhapatnam / by G.V. Prasada Sarma / Visakhapatnam – July 12th, 2017

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    C. Narayana Reddy won the Jnanpith award in 1988. | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

    C. Narayana Reddy won the Jnanpith award in 1988. | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

    CiNaRe was known for his use of Telugu in its pure form, and would not be swayed by filmmakers on the use of the language.

    Eminent poet, litterateur and Jnanpith awardee C. Narayana Reddy, popularly known as CiNaRe, passed away in the early hours of Monday, aged 85. He was taken to a hospital following health complications and was declared dead.

    CiNaRe, born on July 29, 1931 in Hanumajipet of erstwhile Karimnagar district, studied till his graduation in Urdu because Telugu as a medium was not available during the Nizam’s rule. However, because of his intense love for the language he taught himself Telugu and it was only during his degree that he took the option of Telugu as a paper. CiNaRe went on to do a post-graduate degree and a Ph.D on ‘Modern Traditions of Telugu’.

    It was the late N.T. Rama Rao, who wielded the megaphone in film Gulebakavali, who gave CiNaRe his break as a lyricist. He wrote all the songs in the film, including the hit ‘Nannu dochukunnavate .. Vannela Dorasani.’

    CiNaRe was known for his use of Telugu in its pure form, and would not be swayed by filmmakers on the use of the language.

    He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1977 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992. His compilation of poems, titled ‘Viswambhara’, got him the Jnanpith award in 1988. In 1997, he was nominated as a Member of the Rajya Sabha. His academic distinctions include serving as a professor of Osmania University and as Vice Chancellor of the Telugu University.

    Former Governor K. Rosaiah pays homage to C Narayana Reddy in Hyderabad.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S Giri

    Former Governor K. Rosaiah pays homage to C Narayana Reddy in Hyderabad. | Photo Credit: K.V.S Giri

    Among those who condoled with the death of CiNaRe were Governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, Ch. Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrasekhar Rao. Those who visited the family residence and paid their respects included former Governor of Tamil Nadu, K. Rosaiah, Ministers K.T. Rama Rao, G. Jagadheeshwar and actor Venkatesh.

    His last rites will be performed on Wednesday.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Books> Authors / by Suresh Krishnamoorthy / Hyderabad – June 12th, 2017

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    Visakhapatnam :

    At just 26 years of age, Vizagite Durugadda Harsha Vardhan has won the Rio Tinto Sculpture Award at the ‘Sculpture by the Sea-2017’ contest recently held in Australia. His work ‘Column of Sound’ has emerged as winner among works by 78 international sculptors and is now being showcased in Perth.

    Harsha’s creation ‘Column of Sound’ consists of two mild steel hemispheres and slices of marble (8 ft by 4 ft dimension) stacked in between. It is based on the visual dynamics of an audio wave where sound translates to tangible and eternal, rendering a paradigm shift of sensory experience. In Harsha’s words, “It’s a translation of sound into a visual form, in the same way we store images as memories, it’s actually my memory of a sound.”

    He was a student of St Francis School and Bullaya College in Vizag following which Harsha completed his B.Sc from Hyderabad and Masters in Visual Communication from Delhi. He also completed a course in arts and aesthetics from JNU. Eventually, he took up sculpting which has also been the profession of his father and grandfather.

    Harsha plans to participate in the next ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ contest to be held at Bondi in Sydney in October. Speaking about his next sculpture, he said, “Made with corten steel, it would be called ‘Fish Love’. This structure will showcase misinterpretation of love. Though, love is always talked about in great terms, it’s often self-gratification rather than a selfless emotion. True love should be always giving without thinking about the self.”

    “Vizag is blessed with the sea, which is a soother and contests and exhibitions by the sea can be held just like in Australia. But we need to create that environment and not ruin art by politicising the events. We need an organising committee for it with encouragement from well-to-do private patrons just like it’s in Australia. Vizag needs more galleries and more events as well as private patrons,” Harsha said.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Visakhapatnam News / by Sulogna Mehta / TNN / May 11th, 2017

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    May 8th, 2017adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Shanmukhapriya From Vizag on Zee TV – SaReGaMaPa Li’l Champs 2017


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    BANGALORE, 23/12/2012: Dadasaheb Phalke Awardee K. Vishwanath at Media Conference as part of Bengaluru International Film Festival in Bangalore on December 23, 2012. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

    BANGALORE, 23/12/2012: Dadasaheb Phalke Awardee K. Vishwanath at Media Conference as part of Bengaluru International Film Festival in Bangalore on December 23, 2012. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

    Four filmmakers discuss the impact of this year’s Dadasaheb Phalke award winner K Viswanath’s films on their writing and storytelling methods

    In the late 1970s and early 80s, Telugu cinema was witnessing a phase that wasn’t really earning it plaudits. Outlandish costumes and a pop of colour bombs in song sequences were becoming markers of popular cinema. The 80s were characterised by bell bottoms, oversized sunglasses and floral prints in other film industries as well.

    K Viswanath’s films stood out like a breath of fresh air. The characters in his films spoke like real people; they had concerns that mirrored real-life situations. Over the decades, any Telugu film aficionado would have heard and recounted tales of how Sankarabharanam (1979) opened to near-empty halls before it became a rage and ran to packed shows for over a year and its key actors Somayajulu and Manju Bhargavi enjoyed the popularity reserved for stars.

    Viswanath’s films cannot be slotted into what was then called ‘art’ or ‘parallel’ cinema, through he steered clear of mainstream excesses. His films drew audiences in droves, the music percolated well into popular realm and the stories and characters would be cherished for decades.

    When Viswanath chose stars like Kamal Haasan, Chiranjeevi, Jayaprada, Bhanupriya, Radhika, Venkatesh or Vijayashanti, he gave them a chance to better their craft and have the satisfaction of looking back at these films fondly years later. It’s befitting when an actor like Venkatesh today recollects how Swarnakamalam allowed him to be real and not resort to exaggerated expressions, or, when Kamal Haasan takes to Twitter to thank Viswanath for making him a part of Sagara Sangamam.

    Kamal Haasan was no stranger to films depicting realistic stories, thanks to working with directors like K Balachander and Bharatiraja in Tamil. Yet, Sagara Sangamam was a landmark film. It showed that the protagonist needn’t be young and charming through the film. He could be flawed and yet be revered.

    The best part of Viswanath’s films, as director Nandini Reddy points out, is that they remain rooted and effortless. “It didn’t look like he was setting out to make great cinema. He was just trying to tell a story in the best possible way he knew and it all seemed so organic and real,” she says. We nod in agreement.

    Nandini Reddy


    “One of my earliest memories of Telugu cinema is watching Sankarabharanam. It was our Sound of Music. Everyone, age no barrier, loved that film. I was in school and when Manju Bhargavi made a visit, it was no less than a star visiting. Sankarabharanam is a beautiful amalgamation of story, music and performance. The narrative is fluid, which is a hallmark of Viswanath’s work. When we write a film, we mull over the placement of different segments and how it should build up to a climax. In Viswanath’s stories, it all seems to emerge naturally. His was a Zen method of filmmaking. Every musical note, every expression seems so well thought out and beautiful. The close-up shots of Jayaprada, Kamal Haasan or Radhika conveyed so much without words. He believed in brevity of dialogues. Actors lived their parts. I think Viswanath brought dignity and grace to Telugu cinema.”

    (Nandini Reddy is known for her rom-coms and family dramas like Ala Modalaindi and Kalyana Vaibhogame)

    Tharun Bhascker


    One of Tharun’s childhood friends is K Viswanath’s grandson Mukund. Tharun remembers discussing cinema with Mukund and his friends, much before he knew Mukund’s lineage. For Tharun, the vivid childhood image of cinema stems from watching Sagara Sangamam.

    “The film showcased the aesthetics of dance in a non-commercial format. It was offbeat, yet created tremors in the industry and among the audience. In the beginning of the film, we see the protagonist, the hero, as an alcoholic and someone who had given up on his career. That flawed character, to me, announced that it wasn’t a usual film. It was courageous of Viswanath sir as a writer and filmmaker to do that. That kind of writing stuck with me when I grew interested in screenwriting. I have revisited the film on several occasions and with friends, have eagerly watched the song where Kamal Haasan stands on the well, inebriated. We have watched and discussed how an entire song can be choreographed thus and the shot constructions.”

    (Tharun Bhascker directed Pelli Choopulu, which won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu in 2016; he’s now working in his next — a coming-of-age buddy comedy with four youngsters, which he describes as “Dil Chahta Hai meets Hangover.)

    Srinivas Avasarala


    “Viswanath’s films gave me insights into on-screen dynamism, particularly the movement of people and the camera. Remember the scene where Kamal Haasan dances in a newspaper office in Sagara Sangamam? We see Sailaja on the right to begin with and as the scene progresses, she moves left to where her boyfriend is standing. It’s a scene where she needs psychological support and we see her moving to him. Similarly, in Swanakamalam when the father is against the son’s wishes to marry a girl of his choice, we see the mother entering and the son swiftly moves to stand near her. Again, it’s an example of psychological support. As a writer and filmmaker I’ve often asked myself if I would be able to write or make a film like he has. Deep within I know I cannot make a film on classical music or dance, because that requires a deep understanding of the art form and conviction. As a child, when I watched Sankarabharanam I was absorbed by what I saw on screen. This despite the fact that like most children, I wasn’t keen on classical music.

    (Srinivas Avasarala wrote and directed Oogalu Gusagusalade and Jo Achyutananda)

    Nag Ashwin


    “We all grew up watching K Viswanath’s films and most filmmakers of today aspire to make films that are commercially viable, socially relevant and with a blend of humour, which came so easily to him. On a few occasions when I met him at film events and spoke about cinema, he would mention that a story or a movie came to him naturally and he was just a conduit to make it happen. That’s an approach I relate to. My favourites among his films are Swarnakamalam (1988) and Swatikiranam (1992). I’ve lost count of how many times I would have watched them for the nuances of filmmaking and fresh approach to storytelling. Until I watched Swatikiranam, I didn’t know it was possible to make such an impactful film about a guru getting jealous over a student’s success. As a child, I remember watching Aapadbandhavudu (1992). I was stunned at how it moved me emotionally. I remembered hearing that the film didn’t do well. I kept wondering how such a film didn’t find enough takers. Every few years I revisit this film to see if it was ahead of its time. The music is evergreen, as is the case with every film of Viswanath.”

    (Nag Ashwin debuted as a director with Yevade Subramanyam and is now making a biopic on late actress Savitri, titled Mahanati)

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Entertainment> Movies> Personality Movies / by Sangeetha Devi Dundoo / April 25th, 2017

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    Visakhapatnam is all set to create a record today when 7000 girl students from various Andhra Pradesh Residential Educational Institutions Society (APREIS)’s schools and colleges will perform Kuchipudi at RK Beach. The event that is being jointly conducted by APREIS and the Social Welfare department will be inaugurated by CM Chandrababu Naidu in the presence of several state ministers.

    The event is being held to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar. 7000 girl students performing Kuchipudi at the event are coming in from 21 Mahila Gurukhula Patashalas from Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. “We had provided accommodation in our schools at various places in the city and APSRTC had provided eight buses for transportation of the girls from the schools to the venue at the beach road. We are also providing food to the participants,’’ Coordinator of Organising Committee S Roopavathi reportedly said.

    Students taking part in the event have been trained in Kuchipudi for the last two months by professional dancers. The programme will start with three songs featuring the theme of the life story of BR Ambedkar. Initially, there were claims that students participating in the event were asked to pay for it.

    But Organising Secretary Col V Ramulu stated that no money was collected from the students for the costumes and makeup. In fact, the state government had even provided each school with Rs 4 lakh, apart from providing the required dresses and makeup kits. Each student participating in the performance were also given Rs 1000 each.

    source: / Yo!Vizag / Home> City / April 11th , 2017

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