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The classical dance Kuchipudi originated in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in the village of Kuchipudi. The roots of this dance trace back to early Hindu Sanskrit based around the performing arts. This dance is based on conveying the messages and ideals of religion and worship, and was typically performed for travellers in temples. This dance is performed in stages and is accompanied by elaborate costumes, dramatic hand and face gestures, sign language to reflect the messages of the dance, and a variety of wind instruments such as the flute and cymbals. The musicians also recite a song in the language of Telugu.

Definitions for clarification:

Guru- Teacher

Adavus- footwork /steps

Kirthis- Dance items

Jathis- Combination of footwork and hand movements

Natya- Drama

Nritta- Pure Dance

Nrittya- The combination of the  drama and pure dance components of dance

The Learning Process:

Kuchipudi is very similar to Bharatnatyam. Like Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi there are three parts of the dance, the Nritta, the Natya, and Nritya. In Kuchipudi how the dance is taught varies from guru to guru.

The general outline to learn the dance is:

  • First the Adavus are learned. Adavus means the steps, footwork, for the dance.

  • Second the Jathis is learned. Jathis is a combination of footwork and hand movements.

  • Third the Krithis are thought, which are combinations of the Jathis learned to form a choreographed dance.

Kuchipudi: Intro

Thank you to Smriti Suresh, a 11th year disciple, for providing the information on the learning process of Kuchipudi.

Kuchipudi: Watch
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