Classical Indian Dance from Andhra Pradesh (AP), South India
What is Kuchipudi?
Kuchipudi dance of Andhra Pradesh is a classical dance form, native to the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP). It is named after the Kuchipudi village in AP. And it is like the Kathakali dance as this too is a form of dance and drama.
Origin of Kuchipudi Dance
Kuchipudi dance originated way back in 1500 AD. Back then, it was only performed in temples. And it was the Brahmin priests who performed it as a sign of devotion and respect for the deity.
Since then, the Kuchipudi dance has evolved and today, it occupies a prominent place in the list of classical Indian dances. Over time, women joined this traditional dance form and added a new flavour to the dance.
Kuchipudi Dance Themes
The main themes of the Kuchipudi dance include stories, tales, and scenes from mythology and epics. The dancer uses a combination of dance, music, mime and acting to present the story and bring alive emotions.
And swift footwork in a rhythmic fashion and speech are other essential elements of the dance performance.
Kuchipudi Dance Techniques – Andhra Pradesh
This lyrical dance form is a treat for the eyes. In it, the dancers use beautiful expressions and footwork as well as eye movements to convey different emotions and rasas.
Another interesting facet of the Kuchipudi dance of Andhra Pradesh is the ease and beauty with which the dancer displays her balancing skills. This aspect of the Kuchipudi dance is known as “Tarangam”.
For example, when the performer her keen sense of balance to dance while standing on the edges of a metal plate. As she follows the beats of the drum, it is fascinating to watch her rhythmic footwork while balancing her body, standing on the rim of a brass plate.
And this performance becomes more difficult when the Kuchipudi dancer also places a pot of water on her head.
Kuchipudi Dance Accompaniments & Costumes
The Kuchipudi dance performance is accompanied by traditional Carnatic Music. The musical instruments which are played during the performance include – Drum (Mridangam), Flute, Veena and the Violin, etc. Mridangam (the drum), Nattuvangam, Veena, Violin and Flute.
Kuchipudi dance costumes are stitched to perfection and usually come in several bright colours. The items of clothing include the pyjama, angrakha, blouse, etc.
In addition, dancers wear exquisite, traditional jewellery pieces. And these adorn various parts of their body such as the head, hair, hands, neck, fingers, and waist, etc.
A garland of flowers around the head is another important item.
Famous Kuchipudi Dancers
Some of the well-known masters of Kuchipudi Dance of Andhra Pradesh include –
Raja & Radha Reddy
Learning or watching a Kuchipudi dance performance is an amazing experience. And we highly recommend that you indulge in this experience!
Are you a Kuchipudi Dancer?
To add greater value to this page, we invite you to contribute your picture in your traditional Kuchipudi dance costume for inclusion on this webpage. We’ll surely add your name under the picture as a token of thanks. Email us at [email protected]
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