The famous Kuchipudi Duo Radha & Raja Reddy

The present day Kuchipudi dance style has its source in the nattuvamelamu and natyamelamu.

1 Natyamelamu : consists of a group of actors (males) performing Kuchipudi dance drama .
2 Nattuvamelam : is a tradition of dance performed by woman artistes. This tradition had two sections , those who performed at the royal courts and those who performed in the temples.

Kuchipudi dance style today derives its repertoire from these theatre forms. The repertoire consists of the following items-

RANGAPUJA Here the dancer sprinkles water, offers incense and flowers, all through gestures.

KAUTVAMU Here 'jati' (rhythmic utterances) and lyrics in praise of a particular deity are sung.

JATISWARAM This is a pure dance item with complicated steps done with variations in rhythm.

SHABDAMU It narrates a story in praise of a king or a god.

KIRTANAM It is a song composed by saint poets. It has a predominance of Abhinaya or enactment.

ASHTAPADI Taken from the great saint-poet from Orissa ,Jayadeva's work 'Geeta Govinda' these items describe the love of Krishna and Radha.

SHIVALILA NATYAM Various episodes showing Shiva in different aspects are depicted.

There are several other items like the padam, javali, simhanandini, shloka, tillana, tarangam etc. The highlight of the Tarangam is that the dancer stands on the edge of a brass plate , balances a pot of water on her head and executes complex rhythmic patterns.

Kuchipudi has now gained immense popularity because of its lilting music and graceful and flowing movements. The well known artists who pioneered its popularity are Yamini Krishnamurthy, Swapnasundari and the couple, Radha and Raja Reddy. The great gurus in this style are Guru C.R. Acharyulu, Guru Vempeti Chinna Satyam and Guru Korada Narasimha Rao. Beautiful costumes, enchanting music and vivacious dance technique make this style a delight to watch.

Mudra ||  4000 years old! ||  Dance of Shiva ||  Bharatanatyam ||  Kathak ||  Kuchipudi ||  Kathakali || 
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