Kuchipudi is basically from Andhra Pradesha.
Kuchipudi costumes look similar to those worn in Bharathanatyam dance. Elegant footwork is an important aspect of Kuchipudi. Another distinctive aspect of this dance is that in special performances, the dance is executed on brass plate and moving the plate with the feet to the tune of the accompanying music. Yet another is the formation of beautiful floor patterns using efficient feet movements. The performer has to express through dance and gestures, the speech and song. The artiste, apart from being a dancer and actor, has to have a high proficiency in Sanskrit and Telugu languages, Music and the texts for the performance.
The Kuchipudi performance begins with recital of extracts from the four Vedas as these symbolise the composition of the Natyaveda.This followed by Ganapati stuti before the entry of the sutradhar who narrates the dance-drama with its implications and introduces the artistes. Each dancer is introduced with pravesa daruva orentrance number accompanied by song and rhythmic syllables. The word daruvu means rhythmic pattern. There is nritta, nritya, and natya. The nritta part is composed of teeermanams and jatis; the naitya consists of sabdams indroduced to enrich the dance and natya is acting with mudras to enact the stories of yore.
Kuchipudi classical dance comprises of a blend of tandava and lasya elements. The music is this dance from is classical and the costumes are conventional. Bhagavatula Ramayya, written by Hari Madhavayya, introduced the dance-drama in the Kuchipudi repertoire; and today vachikabhinaya (verbal expression) has become a special feature of Kuchipudi dance-drama.
Vedantam Laxmi Narayana Sastry Introduced solo items and laid the foundation of the Kuchipudi repertoire. Today Raja and Radha Reddy have taken this dance from to new heights.
After the initial rituals as well the introduction of the characters is complete, it is the time to finally begin the performance of Kuchipudi. Through the show, the dance is accompanied by song, typically Carnatic music. Accompanying the singer, in the performace, is by mridangam (a classical South Indian percussion instrument), violin, flute and the tambura (a drone instrument with strings which are plucked).
Make-up, Costumes and Music
Make-up and costumes are the unique characteristics of Kuchipudi dance form. Apart from the make-up, the female characters also wear ornaments and jewelry, such as Rakudi (head ornament), Chandra Vanki (arm ornament), Adda Bhasa and Kasina Sara (neck ornament), and a long plait decorated with flowers and jewelry. Most of the ornaments worn by the artists are made of a light weight wood, called Boorugu.
Popular Kuchipudi Dance
The most popular Kuchipudi dance forms is the pot dance, in which a dancer keeps a pot filled with water on his/her head, while the feet are balanced on a brass plate. He/she moves on the stage, manipulating the brass plate with the feet kept on its rim and doing some hand movements, without spilling a drop of water on the ground. Bhama Kalapam, Gollakalapam, Prahlada Charitam, Sashirekha and Parinaya are some of the other famous dance dramas in Kuchipudi.