Kuchipudi is the classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the major eleventh classical dances of India. Kuchipudi derives its name from the Kuchipudi village of Andhra Pradesh. Kuchipudi is a dance drama performance with ancient Hindu Sanskrit text of Natya Shastra. It is known for its impressive quick footwork, drama, expressive eye movements. It is a mixture of tandava and lasya elements. The kuchipudi performer apart from being a dancer and actor has to be skilled in music of performance. Kuchipudi is performed on classical Carnatic music.

The kuchipudi uses a lot of fast rhythmic foot movements with gracefulness in body movements which highlights the dance form. The dance even consists of hand gestures and facial expression. The instruments used for music includes Mridangam, flute, violin. The kuchipudi dancers wear light make up and ornaments like Rakudi, Chandra Vanki, Kasina Sara and long plait decorated with flowers and jewellery. The ornaments are made of Boorugu. The costumes are similar to Saree worn in Bharatnatyam. Ghungroos are specially made for creating sound to rhythm. Before starting the dance,there are certain rituals to perform in front of audience. Kuchipudi dance are enacted during night in open air on stage.

Kuchipudi - Indian Classical Dance
Image Credit: live.staticflickr.com

Features of Kuchipudi dance

It involves difficult foot movements and is generally a team performance. Most of the Kuchipudi recitals are based on stories of Bhagwat purana but have a secular theme. There is a predominance of Shringaara ras. The Dance involves all three components of classical dance: Niritta, Nritya and Natya. It is similar to Bharatnatyam but has its own features. 
The performance has: 
  • Sollakath or Patakshara : the Nritta part, where movement of the body is made 
  • Kavutvams : The Nritya part which involves extensive acrobatics. It may also be performed as Nritya (Pure Dace)
In a Kuchipudi recital, the dancer may combine the role of a singer in to himself/herself as well. Hence, it becomes a drance-drama performance. Both Lasya and Tandava elements are important in the Kuchipudi dance form. A kuchipudi recital is generally accompanied with Carnatic music; Viloin and Mridugangam being the principal instruments. The recital is in Telugu language.

Note :-

  • Manduk shabdam – Tells the story of a frog.
  • Tarangam -  The dancer performs with his/her feet on the edges of a brass plate and balancing a pot of water on head or set of diyas.
  • Jala Chitra Nrityam – In this item, the dancer draws pictures on the floor with his or her toes while dancing.

Famous Proponents: 

Radha Reddy and Raja Reddy, Indrani Rehman etc.
Read In Hindi: Kuchipudi - भारतीय शास्त्रीय नृत्य alert-info
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