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Kuchipudi- An Indian Classical Art Form Explained By Vishakha Shah

Kuchipudi Dance & Its History

Kuchipudi Dance is essentially drawn from a dance drama tradition that finds its origin in the states of Talengana and Andhra Pradesh. Its rich variety and flamboyance uses the Telugu and Sanskrit language in a mellifluous manner. There is no specific moment from which we can trace Kuchipudi.

Where Does Kuchipudi Originate From?

The dance gets its name from the village of Kuchipudi but it contains performance elements of many sacred forms that flourished in temples and sacred spaces as well as courts and other secular places. Some of these elements had an exclusive preference and some were forms that the common people appreciate.

Earlier Kuchipudi Dance Dramas were based on Shiva Leelas and Yaksha Ganas. However Later on when the Vaishnava Cult gained the upper hand with the rulers turning to Vaishnavism, the Operas known as Bhagavata Melas based on the Vishnu lore came into vogue. As a classical form of dance-drama and music, Kuchipudi enjoys a unique place among the Indian classical dance idioms.

The music that accompanies the dance is according to the classical school of Carnatic music and is delightfully synchronized. 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 and recites the sollukattus(mnemonic rhythm syllables).

-Vishakha Shah


Vishakha Shah- Master of Fine Arts & Master of Performing Arts 

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