Kuchipudi Dance Performance
The Magic of Elegance And Grace
Dances in India have been a part of the culture and traditions since times of yore. Over the years, almost all dances have underwent a lot of changes; In fact, the very motive of dance has been altered. In past, dance was not only an art, a way of celebration, but it was a duty to be performed and an offering given to please the gods. The case is similar with Kuchipudi Dance as well. Kuchipudi Dance finds its origin in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The dance is named after a village in Andhra Pradesh called Kuchipudi. It was here the earliest masters and scholars of the dance practiced and perfected the art. The tradition of the dance has been passed down to the successive generations in the village. The dance is considered the closest to the Sanskrit theatrical tradition in Bharat Natya's Shastra. Kuchipudi dance today has acquired the status of Indian Classical Dance and has earned name for itself throughout the world.
How It Started
The Legend behind it dates back to 13th century. There was a man named Siddhappa, whose marriage was fixed to a beautiful girl. On the day of the marriage, his boat overturned in middle of the river. He desperately hung onto the boat and prayed to God, that if he is saved, he will devote his whole life to the service of God. Miraculously he was saved and he kept the word. From then on, he was called as Siddhendra Yogi. He wrote a drama praising Lord Krishna and gathered dancers to perform it on stage. He choose only male performers so as not to enrage the society. The graceful movements and excellent execution of the dance performed in the court, impressed the Nawab so much, that in praise, he gifted a village named Kuchipudi to the dancers on a promise that the dance tradition will be continued. Earlier, the dance was performed only by men, and that too of Brahmin origin, but slowly women also started practicing it. Still, in some places, the age old tradition is followed and only all men troops perform Kuchipudi.
The Dance Itself
Kuchipudi is dominantly a dance-drama in which different episodes from Indian mythology are taken up and enacted. The technique of Kuchipudi Dance very closely resembles the theory put down in 'Natya Shastra' and extensively uses Natya, Nritta and Nritya (the three forms of 'Abhinaya' (Acting)). There are different types of the dance like 'Sabdam', 'Bhama Kalapam', 'Padams' and 'Tarangams'. In all these, Tarangams is the most famous among spectators. In this form, a dancer performs by balancing on a brass plate with both feet on the edges and a pot of water of the head. Unlike before, more and more performances today are solo. Earlier Kuchipudi performed by males was called 'Natyamelamu' and performed by women group was called 'Nattuvamelam'. The dance is accompanied with Carnatic music with instruments like Mridangam, flute and violin that is another magical feature of the dance. The best thing about dance drama is that no matter which state it belongs to or which language it is in, it can be understood by each and every spectator.
Where To Experience The Magic
Through out the year, number of live performances of Kuchipudi dance take place in all parts of Andhra Pradesh. World Famous exponents of Kuchipudi and their disciples perform in the many dance theaters and temples that regularly host dance festivals and competition. The most renowned is the 5 day Kuchipudi dance festival organized by Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, held at Kuchipudi village in Hyderabad. Starting from Kids who are the bright future of the dance, to dancers who have already made this dance form a world recognized art, these festivals showcase talent from different generations. Shilparamam, the crafts village is another place which is famous for frequent Kuchipudi performances.
Andhra Pradesh is home to one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing forms of dance you ever wish to see. Kuchipudi is so famous today that you can witness a performance anywhere in the world, but the real flavor and energy and authenticity of the dance can be seen only in its native place Andhra Pradesh. Catch a live performance of Kuchipudi Dance that would really be the best moments of your visit to Andhra Pradesh.