A Kuchipudi dancer recently presented a 12-hour non-stop performance of Kuchipudi dance in Andhra Pradesh.
- Kuchipudi is one of the classical dance forms of the South India. Kuchipudi derives its name from the Kuchipudi village of Andhra Pradesh.
- Kuchipudi exhibits scenes from the Hindu Epics, legends and mythological tales through a combination of music, dance and acting.
- Like other classical dances, Kuchipudi also comprises pure dance, mime and histrionics but it is the use of speech that distinguishes Kuchipudi’s presentation as dance drama.
- In its early form, the female roles were played by boys and young men of beautiful looks. The director (called Sutradhar) played the most important role. He combined the role of conductor, dancer, singer, musician, comedian, all in one. In modern times the Kuchipudi dance is considerably different than it originally used to be. Most of the performances are solo, done by female dancers.
- In 17th century Kuchipudi style of Yakshagaana was conceived by Siddhendra Yogi a Vaishnava poet and visionary who had the capacity to give concrete shape to some of his visions. He was steeped in the literary Yakshagaana tradition being guided by his guru Teerthanaaraayana Yogi who composed the Krishna-Leelatarangini in Sanskrit.
- It was Lakshminarayan Shastry (1886-1956) who introduced many new elements including solo dancing and training of female dancers in this dance style.
- Kuchipudi has many features that are common to other classical dances of India.
- Kuchipudi carries the sensuousness and fluidity of Odissi with the geometric line of today’s Bharata Natyam.
- As in all other classical dance forms of India, the Kuchipudi dance is both interpretive and lyrical, making use of abstract dance sequences as well.
- Kuchipudi dance retains its devotional character with stress on dramatic outlook.
- It is because of these qualities and features Kuchipudi dance enjoys great popularity and is recognized as one of the leading classical dance styles of India.
- The music that accompanies the dance is according to the classical school of Carnatic music and is delightfully syncopatic.
- The accompanying musicians, besides the vocalist are: a mridangam player to provide percussion music, a violin or veena player or both for providing instrumental melodic music, and a cymbal player who usually conducts the orchestra.
Sources: The Hindu, ccrtindia.gov.in.