Kuchipudi Dance Performance
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World Cultural Festival
The World Culture Festival 2016 is a celebration of The Art of Living’s 35 years of service, humanity, spirituality and human values. The festival will celebrate the diversity in cultures from across the world while simultaneously highlighting our unity as a human family.
As part of the World Cultural Festival, Gurudev has blessed the Art of Living Family of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to showcase Kuchipudi the dance of the Telugus.
Kuchipudi is a Classical Indian dance from Andhra Pradesh, India. It is also popular all over South IndiaKuchipudi is the name of a village in the Divi Taluka of Krishna district that borders the Bay of Bengal. According to legend, an orphan named Siddhendra Yogi is considered to be the founder of the Kuchipudi dance-drama tradition.
The performance usually begins with some stage rites, after which each of the characters come on to the stage and introduces herself with a dharavu (a small composition of both song and dance) to introduce the identity, set the mood, of the character in the drama. The drama then begins. The dance is accompanied by song which is typically Carnatic music.
The singer is accompanied by mridangam (a classical South Indian percussion instrument), violin, flute and the tambura (a drone instrument with strings which are plucked). Ornaments worn by the artists are generally made of a lightweight wood called Boorugu. It originated in the seventh century.
Bharata Muni who wrote the Natya Shastra had explained various aspects of this dance form. Later sometime in the 13th century, the impetus to kuchipudi was given by Siddhendra Yogi. Well-versed in the Natyashasra, he composed a dance-drama Parijatapaharana.
Kuchipudi dancers are quicksilver and scintillating, rounded and fleet-footed, they perform with grace and fluid movements. Performed to classical Carnatic music, it shares many common elements with Bharatanatyam. In its solo exposition Kuchipudi numbers include 'jatiswaram' and 'tillana' whereas in nrityam it has several lyrical compositions reflecting the desire of a devotee to merge with God.
In an era of the degeneration of dance due to exploitation of female dancers, an ascetic, Beyond the stylistic differences of Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam steps there are certain types of dances that are unique to Kuchipudi: Specifically there is the Tarangam which is unique in that the dancer holds a plate with two diyas (small oil-burning candles) in her hands while balancing a "kindi" (small vessel) containing water.
The dance styles in the state are based on the standard treatises, Abhinaya Darpana and Bharatarnava of Nandikeshwara, which is sub-divided into Nattuva Mala and Natya Mala. Nattuva Mala is of two types — the Puja dance performed on the Balipitha in the temple and the Kalika dance performed in a Kalyana Mandapam. Natya Mala is of three kinds — ritual dance for gods, Kalika dance for intellectuals and Bhagavatam for common place. The Natya Mala is a dance-drama performed by a troupe, consisting only of men, who play feminine roles.
Modern Kuchipudi acquired its present form in the 20th century. A number of people were responsible for moving it from the villages to the performance stage. One of the most notable was Guru Lakshminarayan Shastry. After him, a number of other luminaries would mould it into its present shape. Some notable names are Vempati Chinna Satyam, C.R. Acharyalu, Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna and other Kuchipudi exponents Vedantam Satyanarayana Sarma, Yamini Krishnamurthy, Raja Reddy, Radha Reddy, and Shobha Naidu
The Art of Living Families of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are privileged to showcase Kuchipudi as part of the World Cultural Festival