Kuchipudi
The Teenager Today|September 2021
Dance drama tradition of Andhra
GURU VIJAY SHANKER

Kuchipudi, the classical dance style of Andhra Pradesh, is accepted as a solo dance but evolved from the dance-drama tradition of Bhagaveta Mela Natakam. Stories from Hindu mythology, particularly Vaishnava Sampradaya (cult of Lord Vishnu), are interpreted through the medium of stylized and rhythmic movements, typical hasta mudras (hand gestures) and expressional dancing. Kuchipudi lays equal emphasis to elegance and vibrant movements and is performed by both men and women.

Evolution and history

The word Kuchipudi comes from the village Kuchelapuram in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. The Sanskrit word Kusilava-puram refers to the village of actors, travelling bards or dancers. The authoritative text of dance and dramaturgy, written by Bharata Muni, known as Natya Sastra with 6,000 verses in 36 chapters, studied version, evolved during 500 BCE to 500 CE, that mentions the graceful movements known as Kaishiki Vritti. Pre-2nd century text calls one raga (musical melody) as Andhri (Andhra), related to Gandhari Arsabhi. The 1st milllenium Sanskrit text by Bruna Nettle credits its origin to 3rd century.

The copper inscriptions, from 10th to 15th century of Machupalli kaifat refers to Kuchipudi dance. According to Manohar Varadpande, Kuchipudi emerged in the late 13th century during the reign of the Ganga rulers of Kalinga; however, the dancers enjoyed royal patronage during the reign of King Krishnadevaraya in the Vijayanagara empire.

In 1678, the last Shia Muslim Sultan of Golkonda, Abul Hasan Qutub Shah, gifted the Kuchipudi village to the dancers, as he was impressed with their brilliant performance; however, during the reign of Aurangzeb, he was completely against arts and artistes and destroyed the musical instruments, too. The British, too, did not approve of classical dancers and performing art forms suffered a setback.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM THE TEENAGER TODAYView All

How Well Do You Know Your Family?

They share the same surname as you. They live in the same house as you. They are your Parents. But beyond the fact that you know that they love you and are responsible for your well-being, and that they foot all the bills, how well do you really know them?

2 mins read
The Teenager Today
September 2021

Luck favours - Brave Problem-solvers!

TIPS FOR LIFE

4 mins read
The Teenager Today
September 2021

Elations, Disappointments

TOKYO 2020

5 mins read
The Teenager Today
September 2021

Airborne insights during the Pandemic

We are eagerly waiting for the Covid-19 episode to get over and return to normalcy. Or is this going to be the new normal? Coronavirus, in one way or the other, is entwined with the element of air. Now masked noses are the most common sights covering up some hidden airborne insights.

5 mins read
The Teenager Today
September 2021

Kuchipudi

Dance drama tradition of Andhra

4 mins read
The Teenager Today
September 2021

Stand Up, Speak Up!

TEEN SPACE

5 mins read
The Teenager Today
September 2021

STEPS PLAY SCHOOL

Changing the Way Parents Think of Preschools

4 mins read
The Teenager Today
September 2021

He preferred to become a Teacher!

INSPIRING LIVES

3 mins read
The Teenager Today
September 2021

Swimming

HOBBY LOBBY

2 mins read
The Teenager Today
September 2021

Teachers, you are precious to us!

Covid-19 or otherwise, whether schools remain closed yet for another year or remain open, all of us, especially the young students who have experienced the loving care and affection of their teachers for years together will always specially think of them on Teachers’ Day, celebrated annually on September 5, set aside to express our gratitude for making them what we are today to a very great extent.

5 mins read
The Teenager Today
September 2021