Kuchipudi, the dance-drama (referred to as Ata Bhagavatham) from Andhra Pradesh, is based on themes drawn from the Hindu epics, The Ramayana and the Mahabharata. It is a Folk-dance style quite close to Bharatanatyam while retaining its folk origin. Kuchipudi has been the result of the Bhakti movement in the 6th century. In the 17th century, Siddendra Yogi, the progenitor of the form, presented a dance-drama with boys from the village of kuchipudi. the techniques used then were passed on to the subsequent generations.
Kuchipudi plays are performed in the open air on an improvised stage at night. The sutradhar, or master of ceremonies, Plays an integral rol in introducing the characters, providing humour and tying together the show. The fast-paced nature of the form has made it a popular dramatic form. today it is better known as solo dance.
Kuchipudi costumes look similar to those worn in Bharathanatyam dance. Elegant footwork is an important aspect of Kuchipudi. Another distinctive aspect of this dance is that in special performances, the dance is executed on brass plate and moving the plate with the feet to the tune of the accompanying music. Yet another is the formation of beautiful floor patterns using efficient feet movements. The performer has to express through dance and gestures, the speech and song. The artiste, apart from being a dancer and actor, has to have a high proficiency in Sanskrit and Telugu languages, Music and the texts for the performance.
The Kuchipudi performance begins with recital of extracts from the four Vedas as these symbolise the composition of the Natyaveda.This followed by Ganapati stuti before the entry of the sutradhar who narrates the dance-drama with its implications and introduces the artistes. Each dancer is introduced with pravesa daruva orentrance number accompanied by song and rhythmic syllables. The word daruvu means rhythmic pattern. There is nritta, nritya, and natya. The nritta part is composed of teeermanams and jatis; the naitya consists of sabdams indroduced to enrich the dance and natya is acting with mudras to enact the stories of yore.
Kuchipudi classical dance comprises of a blend of tandava and lasya elements. The music is this dance from is classical and the costumes are conventional. Bhagavatula Ramayya, written by Hari Madhavayya, introduced the dance-drama in the Kuchipudi repertoire; and today vachikabhinaya (verbal expression) has become a special feature of Kuchipudi dance-drama.
Vedantam Laxmi Narayana Sastry Introduced solo items and laid the foundation of the Kuchipudi repertoire. Today Raja and Radha Reddy have taken this dance from to new heights.
BHARATA NATYAM KATHAKALI KATHAK MANIPURI KUCHIPUDI ODISSI MOHINI ATTAM
BHANGRA DHUMAL ROUF LAMA DANCE PANGI DANCES LOSAR SHONA CHUKSAM RAAS GIDDA DHAMYAL DUPH LAHOOR DHURANG MALI DANCE TERA TALI
BIHU NAGA DANCE HAZAGIRI BAMBOO DANCE NONGKREM THANG-TA KARMA PONUNG BRITA OR VRITA HURKA BAUL KALI NACH GANTA PATUA PAIK DALKHAI
GENDI BHAGORIYA JAWAR GARBA DANDIYA KALA DINDI MANDO
DOLLU KUNITHA DANDARIA KARAGAM KUMMI KUTTIYATTAM
PADAVANI KOLAM LAVA NICOBARESE