Ambika stole the show this week at the World Telugu meet being held to showcase the rich culture of Andhra Pradesh. The celebrated Kachipudi hoop dancer is most famous for her apperance on the Indian satellite network ETV television show Adhurs: The Ultimate Talent Show. Viewers of the multi-talent reality show in India were in for a treat when she took to the stage to perform. Kuchipudi is a Classical Indian dance from Andhra Pradesh, India, and while it is popular all over South India, Kuchipudi is the name of a village in the Divi Taluka of Krishna district where the dance originated in the seventh century, hence the name. Ambika is from Tanuku, a city in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. What we see here in her performance not only looks traditional, it most certainly is.
Ambika discovered the joy of hooping early and started training herself to excel at it. She took to dancing at the age of seven with her mother, who had an unfulfilled dream of becoming a dancer herself and spotted talent in Ambika. Trained in Kuchipundi, she began putting her spin on it with her truly exquisite hooping, as well as incorporating other elements such as balancing a pot of fire on top of her head. A class IX student of the Adarsa Concept School at Sajjapuram in Tanuku, Ambika is known locally as a “ring dancer” and she has given more than 500 performances in India and abroad and has won countless talent contests.
“My mission in life is to achieve greater heights in dancing and also to help needy people including orphans, HIV-affected and old people,” she told The Hindu. “As my parents take care of my needs, I spend all my earnings from dance performances to help mentally and physically challenged people and children orphaned by HIV-infected parents in Tanuku.” She’s currently a senior intermediate student in the Math, Economics and Commerce stream and is aiming to study business administration. Enjoy her amazing performance on “Adhurs: The Ultimate Talent Show” below, performing to “Bharata Vedamuga” by Chitra (on iTunes).