Puttur: Renowned dancer and performer, Asthika Sunil Shetty, passed away on March 7th at a hospital in Mangaluru after a prolonged illness. Shetty, who was 46 years old and a resident of Bahrain, was the younger daughter of the late dance guru Vidwan Kudkadi Vishwanath Rai and hailed from Kudkadi in Paduvannur village.
Born into a family of artists, Shetty received her education from Vishwakalaniketan and was trained in both Bharatanatyam and Yakshagana. She had a long-standing devotion to Kalasaraswati, which she expressed through her performances as both a Bharatanatyam and Yakshagana artist.
Asthika Shetty’s talent and dedication to her craft were evident on the Bahrain Yakshagana stage, where she brought to life beloved characters such as Krishna of Sudhanvamoksha, Kinnidar of Koti Chennaya, and Shambhavi of Shambhavivilasa.
Shetty’s association with her father, Vidwan Viswanatha Rai, and mother, Vidushi Nayana V Rai, remained strong throughout her life, even as she pursued her career abroad.
Astika Shetty is survived by her husband and son. Her passing is mourned by the many people who were touched by her performances and inspired by her dedication to the arts.