Sandhya Raju Photos stills from her upcoming Telugu movie Natyam interview.
Hyderabad-based Kuchipudi dancer Sandhya Raju will be making her feature film debut as producer and actor with Natyam, releasing on October 22.
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Sandhya Raju Images in Green traditional outfit
There is also a short film called Natyam in which Sandhya is portraying a housewife who rekindles her lost passion for dance. “I was not into acting and did not pay close attention to the story when Revanth narrated it. The five-minute dance towards the end caught my attention first,” laughs Sandhya.
Telugu Actress Sandhya Raju recalls the events that led her to act in a short film directed by Revanth in 2016: “I was also looking to expand my vistas and take up occasional modeling, theatre or short film opportunities. Around the same time, Revanth was looking for a Kuchipudi dancer who could act and reached out to me.”
While working on the story, Revanth needed an actor with strong roots in classical dance. After a sustained search, he realized that a dancer would be ideal as the role would come naturally to them. His quest ended with Kuchipudi danseuse Sandhya Raju.
She and Revanth also noticed how short filmmakers were making a mark with feature films in Telugu cinema. When Revanth decided to work on a full-fledged dance-based feature film, Sandhya was game to act and produce the project. Intermittently, she acted in a Malayalam film titled Careful (2017).
The movie, which is set in a fictional village called Natyam, required certain aesthetics and real-life shoots around temples. The director and his team scouted for a couple of months across Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka before zeroing in on the famous Lepakshi and Hampi temples.
Sandhya also took up the responsibilities of choreography and costume design for Natyam. Given her prowess in Kuchipudi, she could have choreographed complex moves, but she chose to keep it simple: “We did not want it to look like a rangapravesam of classical dances.”
Ironically, in the film, she portrays a dancer who has to prove herself while Kamal Kamaraju plays the more experienced dancer.