The history of Kuchipudi dance is quite old but it was recognised as a classical dance much later. Its origin is placed around 2nd century BC. Since the dance evolved in the Kuchipudi region of Andhra Pradesh, it is known as Kuchipudi dance. It is a traditional dance drama which bears distinct influence of Vaishnav sect. This dance form is also influenced by oddissi and Bharat Natyam dance styles.
The dance is usually performed in the following manner :
- Poorvarang : This is akin to Bhoomi puja (worshipping the earth) followed by prayers to Shiva, Vinayaka or Venkateshwar.
- Bhamakalapam : This is the second stage of the dance in which the dance is performed based on a story line.
- Shabdam: The third stage of the dance is called shabdam in which a “word’ is expressed by emoting in various manners.
- Dashavatar: In this stage all the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu are described.
- Rama Pattabhishek: This is the fifth stage in which the story of Rama-right from his birth to ascendancy on the throne is described through the medium of dance.
- Tillana: This is the 6th stage in which dance is performed through “Tillana” which is pure beats and laya.
- Tarangam : Tarangam are the poems composed by Narayan Tirtha describing the childhood acts of Lord Krishna. In the end there is spectacular exhibition of ‘Layakari’ and ‘body movements’ which is performed by the dancer while standing in a Thali (plate)
Costume:—The women wear sari and blouse and use waist band. Women also wear an ornamental belt in the waist and arm bands, tika and necklace. Men usually wear a dhoti, waistband and Dupatta.