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Dance - Kuchipudi

* 13 Nov 2022
Kuchipudi is the classical dance form from the state of Andhra Pradesh.  It derives its name from the village of Kuchelapuram, a small village about 65 kms from Vijaywada.  It is known for its graceful movements and its strong narrative / dramatic cha­rac­ter.
Siddhendra Yogi settled in the village of Kuchelapuram and started teaching Brahmin boys in devotional dance dramas based upon religious themes which were pres­ented as offerings to God in the tradition of the Natya Shastra.
Tana Shah in 1678 granted the lands around Kuchipudi to the Brahmins who performed the dance.

Siddhendra Yogi first developed a unique and particular style based on the Natyashastra, Bharatarnava and Nandikeshwara's Abhinaya Darpana. However, Siddhendra Yogi confined the practice of the dance form to only male Brahmins, by training them, and thereby giving the dance the sanctity of the fifth Veda. As such, even female roles were played by men. Siddhendra Yogi is also credited with the composition of many kalapams (dance dramas) and one of them is the famous Bhama Kalapam (story of Sathyabhama, Krishna’s wife).
Source: Kuchipudi, An Overview by Dr Veena Murthy Vijay,, 29 May 2020

* 13 Nov 2022
The dance traditions of Andhra are divided into two distinct styles - the Nattuva Mela and the Natya Mela. Nattuva Mela is a solo dance performed by women, and the nattuvangam (cymbals played for rhythmic support) is generally played by men. The repertoire of this style of dance consists of both Sringara (erotic) and Bhakti (devotional) items. This is the form of dance that both the temple dancers and the court dancers practised and performed with gods or kings as the hero of the theme of their dances, as the case may be. The second style of dance, Natya Mela is generally performed by both men and women. The repertoire consists of dance dramas with themes, not necessarily religious, to entertain the audience and also to update the community with the policies of the provincial kings, known as samantha. This latter form of dance is believed to be the forerunner of present-day Kuchipudi dance.
Source: Kuchipudi, An Overview by Dr Veena Murthy Vijay,, 29 May 2020