Kuchipudi as an Art

Kuchipudi, a pre-eminent Indian classical dance form counted among ten leading classical dance forms of India, is a dance-drama performance art that originated in a village of Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Similar to all leading Indian classical dance forms, Kuchipudi too evolved as a religious art rooting back to the age-old Hindu Sanskrit text ‘Natya Shastra’ and connects traditionally with temples, spiritual faiths and travelling bards.

Usually performance repertoire of Kuchipudi that is broadly oriented on Lord Krishna and the tradition of Vaishnavism include an invocation, dharavu – short dance, nritta – pure dance and nritya – expressive dance respectively.

The repertoire of Kuchipudi follows three performance categories namely ‘Nritta’ (Nirutham), ‘Nritya’ (Niruthiyam) and ‘Natya’ (Natyam) mentioned in ‘Natya Shastra’ and followed by all major Indian classical dance forms.

‘Nritta’ is a technical performance where the dancer presents pure dance movements giving stress on speed, form, pattern, range and rhythmic aspects without any form of enactment or interpretive aspects.

In ‘Nritya’ the dancer-actor communicates a story, spiritual themes particularly on Lord Krishna through expressive gestures and slower body movements harmonized with musical notes thus engrossing the audience with the emotions and themes of the act.

‘Natyam’ is usually performed by a group or in some cases by a solo dancer who maintains certain body movements for specific characters of the play which is communicated through dance-acting.

Kuchipudi – The Classical Dance of Andhra Pradesh. www.culturalindia.net/indian-dance/classical/kuchipudi.html.