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Kuchipudi Dance, Andhra Pradesh (AP), South India

Classical Indian Dance Form - Kuchipudi Dance, Tarangam & Dance Accompaniments

What is Kuchipudi?
Kuchipudi is a classical dance form which is native to the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP). This dance is named after the village of Kuchipudi in AP and is similar to the Kathakali dance as this too is a form of dance and drama.

Origin of Kuchipudi Dance It is believed that Kuchipudi dance originated way back in 1500 AD. Back then, this dance was only performed in temples and usually by brahmin priests as a sign of devotion and respect for the diety. Since then, the Kuchipudi dance has evolved and today, it occupies an important place in the list of classical Indian dances. Over time, women joined this traditional dance form and added a new flavour to the dance.

Kuchipudi Dance Themes The main themes of the Kuchipudi dance includes stories, tales and scenes from mythology and epics. The dancer uses a combination of dance, music, mime and acting to present the story and bring alive emotions. Swift foot work in a rhythmic fashion and speech are other important elements of the dance performance.

Kuchipudi Dance Techniques This lyrical dance form is a treat for the eyes.

  • The dancers use beautiful expressions and foot work as well as eye movements to convey different emotions and rasas.
  • Another interesting facet of the Kuchipudi dance is the ease and beauty with which the dancer showcases her balancing skills. This aspect of the Kuchipudi dance is known as "Tarangam".

  • A good example of this is when the performer uses her strong sense of balance to dance while standing on the edges of a metal plate. As she follows the beats of the drum, it is fascinating to watch her rhythmic foot work while balancing her body, standing on the rim of a brass plate.
  • This performance becomes even more difficult when the Kuchipudi dancer also places a pot of water on her head.

Kuchipudi Dance Accompaniments & Costumes The Kuchipudi dance performance is accompanied by traditional Carnatic Music. The musical instruments which are played during the performance include - Drum (Mridangam), Flute, Veena and the Violin, etc. Mridangam (the drum), Nattuvangam, Veena, Violin and Flute.

Kuchipudi dance costumes are stitched to perfection and usually come in a number of bright colors. The items of clothing include the pyjama, angrakha, blouse, etc. In addition, dancers wear exquisite, traditional jewellery pieces which adorn different parts of their body such as the head, hair, hands, neck, fingers and waist, etc. A garland of flowers around the head is another important item.

Famous Kuchipudi Dancers

Some of the well known masters of Kuchipudi Dance include
Kuchipudi Performance
  • Mallika Sarabhai
  • Raja & Radha Reddy
  • Kaushalya Reddy
  • Chinta Krishnamurthy
  • Tadepalli Perayya,
  • Bhavana Reddy
  • Yamini Reddy

Contributions are Invited Are you a Kuchipudi Dancer? To add greater value to this page, we invite you to contribute your picture in your traditional Kuchipudi dance costume for inclusion on this webpage. We'll surely add your name under the picture as a token of thanks (Courtesy:) Email us at [email protected]

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