Kuchipudi is one of the eight major Indian classical dances, originating from a small village called Kuchipudi or Kucherlapurm in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It known for its dramatic nature and distinctive for its use of speech and singing. It is named after the village, Kuchelapuram, in the Krishna district in South India. According to legend, the dance was founded by an orphan called Siddhendra Yogi. @
Similar to all leading Indian classical dance forms, Kuchipudi also progressed as a religious art rooting back to the age-old Hindu Sanskrit text ‘Natya Shastra’ and connects traditionally with temples and spiritual faiths. A typical Kuchipudi dance combines music, dancing and acting to present a scene from a Hindu scripture, myth or legend. It includes worship rituals and invocations of the gods and goddesses, devotion being the key element in the choreography of the dance
Classical Indian dance and the practice of yoga very much compliment one another; in fact, some argue that they can be seen as interchangeable concepts with each emphasising different aspects of the breath or breathing, movement and intellectual and spiritual awareness.
The theoretical foundation of Kuchipudi is established back to the early Sanskrit manuscript on the performing arts called ‘Natya Shastra’. The theoretical foundation of Kuchipudi is established back to the early Sanskrit manuscript on the performing arts called ‘Natya Shastra’ which is endorsed to Indian theatrical and musicologist, the Bharata Muni. It is assumed that the full version of the text was first completed between 200 BCE to 200 CE.
It incorporates verses standing postures, bhava, rasa, basic steps, methods of acting, gestures and Tandava dance, which is associated with Lord Shiva. Bharata Muni not only mentions the Andhra region in this ancient text but also attributes an elegant movement called ‘Kaishiki vritti’ and a raga called ‘Andhri’ to this region. The raga that is associated with ‘Arsabhi’ and ‘Gandhari’ also finds place in several other Sanskrit texts dating back to the 1st millennium.
The 10th century copper inscriptions validate the existence of Shaivism associated dance drama performance acts called ‘Brahmana Melas’ or ‘Brahma Melas’ in regions of South India with Telugu speaking regions. Brahmins performed this art during the medieval era. It developed in South India’s Tamil region as ‘Bhagavata Mela Nataka’ and in Andhra region as Kuchipudi. It is also evidenced that both ‘Bhagavata Mela Nataka’ and Kuchipudi are closely related to the traditional theatre form of Karnataka called ‘Yakshagana’ and also incorporate Carnatic music.