Veteran Kuchipudi dancer Sobha Naidu passed away during the wee hours of Wednesday (October 14) at a private hospital in Hyderabad. According to reports, Sobha was admitted to hospital for treatment of brain haemorrhage and she was under medication for the last few weeks. However, her condition deteriorated and became critical on October 13. Sobha Naidu is a legend in the field of dance who mastered the art at a very young age. She is a student of renowned dance master Vempati Chinna Satyam. Sobha was born in Anakapalle in the district of Vishakapatnam in 1956. She was 64 years old. Being the Principal of Kuchipudi Art Academy in Hyderabad, Sobha Naidu trained younger students (count of more than 1500 students) for the last few years.

Sobha Naidu is a recipient of Padma Shri Award which was bestowed on her in 2001. She has also won other notable honours like Nritya Choodamani Award, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Nrtiya Kala Siromani Award, N T Rama Rao award and many more. Sobha Naidu is survived by her husband Arjun Rao and daughter Sai Shivaranjani.

Sobha Naidu's demise is indeed a big loss to the Indian art field and a lot of notable personalities across the country have been sharing their condolence messages on social media. Megastar Chiranjeevi shared his condolence messages on his Twitter page. Chiranjeevi wrote, "Eminent Kuchipudi dance exponent Padma Shri Smt. Shobha Naidu garu's untimely passing is deeply saddening. It is a huge loss to all of us and to the Telugu cultural art fraternity. She carried the legacy of the legend and her mentor Sri. Vempati China Satyam garu, incredibly well. She relentlessly worked for the promotion of our culture through Kuchipudi dance with great commitment and trained thousands of disciples. Personally, Smt. Shoba Naidu garu and I both had great mutual admiration. Being a great dancer herself, I felt it was an honor when she appreciated my classical dance act in the film 'Shubhalekha'. Ever since the tradition continued.

She had the opportunity to purse a promising career in films, but instead chose to dedicate herself to the Kuchipudi art form as she felt that was her calling. Most recently she did a dance video to promote awareness on the Corona pandemic. When I saw it, I immediately called her and congratulated her for her untiring efforts to use the art form for the well being of the society. I salute her for her tremendous services to Indian / Telugu culture. My heartfelt condolences to the family. May her soul rest in peace,". Indian Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu took to his Twitter page to mourn the demise of the legendary dancer. Let us pray for the departed soul to rest in peace.