|::Development and Importance
is one such unique form of Art which is the tasteful blend
of grace and vigour, elevation and sensuality, of control
and abandon. With its roots buried in the soil of Andhra
Pradesh in India
, Kuchipudi was born in a remote
Village from which it derived its name. In the early days,
the Kuchipudi style of dance was in the form of dance dramas,
the main purpose being to inculcate divine ecstasy which invokes
immortal bliss and brings one closer to the path of salvation
.It is strictly classical in nature incorporating Lasya,
in the interpretation
. It incorporates Samyutha
and Asamyutha Hasthas, Karana, Chari, Angahara, Mandala, Nrutha
. All mentioned in the NatyaSasthra
Kuchipudi dance is the only dance form where all the four
Abhinayas (Angika, Vachika, Aaharya
are given equal importance. The use
is a special feature in
the Kuchipudi dance style. The Dancer not only merely dances
but also acts with gestures as well as words. It takes atleast
ten years for an ordinary dancer to master this art and be
able to express Bhava
through eyes and Rhythm
through foot work.
There were two parallel schools of dance, Nattuva
Mela and Natya Mela. Nattuva Mela developed into
Bharathanatyam (performing solo items)
and Natya Mela into the Kuchipudi
dance in dance drama style. Nattuva mela is basically solo
dance performed by women and the nattuvangam is generally
done by men. The repertoire of this style of dance consists
of both erotic and devotional items, Sringara and Bhakti.
This is the form of dance that both the temple dancers and
the court dancers used to perform, with God or king as the
hero, as the case may be. The second style of dance is Natya
mela which is generally performed by both men and women.
Their repertoire consists of dance dramas with themes, not
necessarily religious, to entertain the audience. This later
form of dance is believed to be the forerunner of the present
day Kuchipudi dance.
|::Women kept out
, an exceptionally gifted scholar and artiste,
who lived in the 16th century gave a definite format and purified
this ancient art. Sidhendra abstained from training women
fearing that they might exaggerate the sentiments expressed
and dispel it of its spiritual tone. Kuchipudi became an all
male domain. The female roles were also impersonated by men.
All the families residing in Kuchipudi were devoted to
either in teaching on performing this austere dance style.
Dance was their one and only source of living. Kuchipudi
remained confined to the narrow limits of an obscure village
with little exposure.
in the last forty odd years the revival of Kuchipudi has raised
a lot of dust. Controversies have been ragging over its classical
character. Also some misguided dancers have convinced the
public that drawing the pictures with colour powders with
foot is part of the Kuchipudi repertoire. This is not only
damaging the spirit of the dance form, but is also irrelevant
in the extreme.
|::Women find a place
Guru Sri. Vedantam Lakshmi Narayana Sastry, an unparalleled
maestro in the filed created aflutter by introducing women
to Kuchipudi. He has taken Keertanas, Astapadis, Padams,
Sabdams, Tarangams for solo performance.
major attraction in Kuchipudi dance style is performing Tarangam.
The source literature is Narayana Teertha's Srikrishna
Leela Tarangini. Dancing with the feet settled on
the rims of a brass plate was introduced to make the style
more attractive and outshine when in comparison with its kindred
styles. This is not a gimmick, nor is it an effort to bring
in irrelevant acrobatics. Such sequences reveal the artiste's
mastery over rhythmic complexities. Solo items were choreographed;
compositions of eminent poets were taken and set to choreography.
These changes lent a glimmer to the art and Kuchipudi. Bhama
Kalapam and Golla Kalapam are the
two major Kalapams that are practiced by
the Kuchipudi dancers.
|......... ABOUT THE GURU ............
living Legend Padmabushan Dr. Vempati Chinna
Satyam is the only present recognized Guru
and Author of Kuchipudi Dance over the world. He not
only followed his Guru's footsteps but proceeded even
further down through the road of revolution. He made
a detailed study of the oldest available treatise on
|::A new dimension
acquired a wholly new dimension. He refined Kuchipudi,
bringing it completely within the boundaries of
Natya Sastra and gave it wholly
new perspective. Guru Vempati
enlarged and enriched the repertoire both in solo
items and dance dramas.Compositions of eminent
poets in all regional languages were set to the
Apart from mythological themes, Social themes also formed
the main subject of dances dramas. Kuchipudi, which is known
only in and around Andhra Pradesh, spread all over India and
abroad under Guru Vempati's efforts. Gone
were the days when men donned even the female roles. Guru
Vempat's ballets showed a complete cycle were women
not only performed but even adorned male roles.
|::A living legend
Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam Guru has become a legend
to look upon with reverence for all times to come in the annals
of Kuchipudi. With his arduous efforts to plant Kuchipudi
firmly on the cultural map of India, Kuchipudi has spread
its wings all over the globe erasing the boundaries of one
country and one continent.