Kuchipudi. What is it?
Originated from a village named kuchipudi from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh , Its a dance drama performance. It also has its roots from the Sanskrit text Natyashastra.
According to its historical traces it was founded by Lord Shiva and Bhrama. It estimates vary between 500BCE to 500CE.
No doubt that the popularity of this dance form is gained in India but it is performed world wide too.
It is a team performance and have it roots in Hindu festivals too.It involves creative and extensive stage movements, footwork , expressive gestures , hand movements(Mudras) , eye movements and face expressions. The dance is accompanied by Carnatic music usually recited in Telugu language.Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi shares many similarities but the difference between the two is Bharatnatyam is Hindu temple tradition where as it is a Hindu festival tradition.
Traditionally , this dance form was predominantly performed by males (Brahmins) who used to move village to village and they only used to dress up as a women for their performances. Modern Performances include both men and women. Being a form of classical dance from India it faced rise during the late medieval period and declined in the colonial British period. After Independence it was rediscovered.
Nritta, Nritya , Natyam in Kuchipudi
So in my research I came across these three terms. So now let us know what are they ? What are their relationship with this dance form.
All these terms are the categories of this dance form.
It is the technical part of a performance . Its aspects includes Rhythm , speed and abstraction in the dance . The Nritta part does not include the story telling. It focuses on beauty of motion, speed , range and pattern .
As the name suggests ,Nritya is the expressive pat of performance . The dancer focus on communication of feelings to the audience a story line like Hindu religious themes. It include the expression of words through gestures and body motions and engaging through the mind of viewers.
It is usually a team performance but can be performed solely and in Duo too . It includes the elements of Nritya also. The dancers performer various characters and underlines the story.
So as we discussed these three are the categories or parts of Kuchipudi performance. These three together completes the performance.
Costume and attire..
As traditionally this dance form was performed by male troupe . They wear a single platted dhoti hanging around the waist. The female role dancer wear a sari with light makeup. In modern time the male dress is somewhat same but a new trend in the female dress. A brilliantly colored saari or a fitted dress having its plate like a hand face so the footwork looks clearly. Complimented by hair jewelry and face jewelry and a golden belt on the waist , The hair jewelry must include flowers. The forehead is is decorated with red Bindi or tika and the eyes are outlined by black liner so that eye movements can be clearly shown . Also Ghunghroos (Belt of small bells) around the ankle.