Ever heard of a dancer who started dancing in her mother’s tummy? Prateeksha Kashi, a Kuchipudi dancer from Bengaluru, used to kick in the womb when her mother was performing a ballet she really liked. Daughter of TV artiste and dancer Vyjayanthi Kashi and actor Vijaya Kashi, Prateeksha has literally been dancing forever and is performing at Chowdiah Memorial Hall on September 28. In the programme, titled Essence of Life, she will try to portray the insights of Jiddu Krishnamurti, a world renowned philosopher.
“My first and only guru has been my mother. I have been learning since I was five-years-old and even gave my first performance at five! My dad was carrying me when there was a performance going on and apparently, I bit him and ran upon stage and danced because I had seen them practicing and knew all the steps,” she laughs.
Having quit her IT job last month, Prateeksha has followed her parents’ footsteps and taken up acting. She is currently straddling between a reality show in Chennai and a lead role in Kannada serial Kaadambari Kanaja.
She says having a family that is so involved has been a huge strength for her rather than a pressure. “I wasn’t forced to pick this profession. It was my choice. Everyone around me said to do whatever was my calling,” she says.
Kuchipudi has taken Prateeksha places! She has performed in the USA, UK, and in different states in India. It is common knowledge in the dancers’ circle that she shares the stage very often with her mother. “Dancing with my mom is a completely different feeling from dancing with my fellow artistes. There is this motherly and protective feeling when I dance with her,” she shares.
In her upcoming performance, Prateeksha is going to try and portray deep, philosophical thoughts like ‘Can we live without problems?’ and certain ideas about meditation. “I’m keeping it subtle in the beginning, in terms of ornamentation and presentation but the last section is full of hastas and quick Kuchipudi movements. I must do justice to the ideas because the whole thing has been conceptualised beautifully,” she says.