Pursuit of excellence distinguishes South Indian artistes

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The Heroes of South India came from pages of history

Venkat Raman
Auckland, June 3, 2022

Theatre and dance in South Asia stem principally from Indian tradition.

Sridevi Pusarla and Kumuda Setty, our Masters of Ceremonies of the Heroes of South India segment

The Second Annual Indian Newslink Festivals of South India held on May 23, 2022, at Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Central Auckland reinstated the platform for the celebration of cultures of the five States, namely Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

The Warriors of Telangana was a popular item

From Bharata Natyam, which is said to be the oldest form of Indian Classical Dance, Kuchipudi and Mohini Attam to various forms of folk dances, there were abundant tests of talent, endurance, discipline and grace of performers.

Oppana by Auckland Malayali Samajam highlighted a Muslim tradition

Andhra Pradesh

Dance, Drama and Music were a part of life in Andhra Pradesh from the Satavahana times (1st Century). Ancient Temple sculptures provide extensive examples of the dance prevalent in those times and earlier.

Kuchipudi is a dance style of Andhra origin, deriving its name from Kuchipudi Village in Krishan District. The village was gifted by Abul Hasan Tanashah to the Brahmin community who were practising the art as their family profession for generations.

The Mana Andhra Telugu Association was represented by Harika Garikipati who presented a Kuchipudi dance number and many others who performed a folk dance.

Folk dance of Karnataka presented by the New Zealand Kannada Koota


Telangana has a cultural history of more than 5000 years.

The region emerged as the foremost centre of culture in the Indian subcontinent during the rule of the Hindu Kakatiya dynasty and the Muslim Qutab Shahi and Asaf Jahi dynasties, also known as the Nizams of Hyderabad.

Their patronage and interest in arts and culture transformed Telangana into a unique multicultural region where two different cultures coexist, making the State the representative of the Deccan Plateau and its heritage with Warangal and Hyderabad being its epi-centre.

Tanima Mahadevan (Auckland Tamil Association) presented Pazham Neeyappa, in praise of Lord Murugan

Among the major cultural events celebrated are Kakatiya Festival, Deccan Festival, Bonalu, Bathukamma, Dasara, Ugadi, Shankaranthi, Milad Al Nabi, Eid Al Fitr (following the Holy Month of Ramadan) and Eid Al Adha.

These were presented by the members of the Telangana Association of New Zealand.

Tamil Nadu

The community in Tamil Nadu is smaller compared to their Telugu compatriots but Auckland Tamil Association proved its mettle with two impressive dance numbers- Mookkuthi Amman and Pazham Neeyappa, the first presented by Heeral Pusarla and Keerthana Sannidhanam and the second by Tanima Mahadevan.

Vijayashree Bhat performed a Bharata Natyam number on behalf of New Zealand Kannada Koota


Karnataka is famous for its traditional and cultural forms of performing arts including dance, music, folklore, Broadway and other forms of expression. It is also the only State in which Carnatic and Hindustani Music flourish.

The New Zealand Kannada Koota members presented a folk dance number while Vijayashree Bhat performed a Bharata Natyam item.


For over a thousand years, Performing Arts have been developed in Kerala, with its own brand of traditional music instruments, some of which are becoming rare.

The Festivals of Telangana was a vibrant number

Auckland Malayali Samajam brought together Chendi Melam by Rhythm 345, Mohiniattam by Dr Dhanya Jayaraj and her group and Oppana.

Among our Guests of Honour at the event were India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Muktesh Pardeshi, Transport, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Labour MP (Upper Harbour) and Chairman Labour Party Ethnic Caucus Vanushi Walters, National List MPs Melissa Lee and Paul Goldsmith and ACT Party Leader and MP (Epsom) David Seymour.


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