Kamakshi Stuthi – Kuchipudi dance

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A beautiful dance composition in Kuchipudi style.

Chhindwara-India, 2008

About Kuchipudi

Kuchipudi (pronounced as ‘Koochipoodi’) is a Classical Indian dance form from Andhra Pradesh, a state of South India. Kuchipudi is the name of a small village in the Divi Taluq of Krishna district that borders the Bay of Bengal and with resident Brahmins practising this traditional dance form, it acquired the present name.

The performance usually begins with some stage rites, after which each of the character comes on to the stage and introduces him/herself with a daru (a small composition of both song and dance) to introduce the identity, set the mood, of the character in the drama. The drama then begins. The dance is accompanied by song which is typically Carnatic music. The singer is accompanied by mridangam (a classical South Indian percussion instrument), violin, flute and the tambura (a drone instrument with strings which are plucked). Ornaments worn by the artists are generally made of a light weight wood called Boorugu.

Style

The movements in Kuchipudi are quicksilver and scintillating, rounded and fleet-footed. Performed to classical Carnatic music, it shares many common elements with Bharatanatyam. In its solo exposition Kuchipudi numbers include ‘jatiswaram’ and ’tillana’ whereas in nritya it has several lyrical compositions reflecting the desire of a devotee to merge with God – symbolically the union of the soul with the super soul.

Beyond the stylistic differences of Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam steps, there are certain types of dances that are unique to Kuchipudi. Specifically there is the Tarangam of Kuchipudi which is unique in that the dancer must dance upon a brass plate, placing the feet upon the raised edges. The dancer moves the plate with much balance as the individual is traditionally dancing on the plate with two diyas (small oil-burning candles) in his or her hands while balancing a “kundi” (small vessel) containing water on their head. At the end of the dance, typically, the dancer extinguishes the candles and washes his or her hands with the water from the vessel.

There are also subtle differences in the costumes of both types of dances. Generally, Bharatanatyam dresses have three fans of differing heights that form the illusion of the spreading pleats of a sari. However, in Kuchipudi there is typically only one fan which tends to be longer than the longest of the three fans present on Bharatanatyam dresses.

source: Wikipedia

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1 comment(s) so far, want to say something now?


  • Raghu
    Nov 23, 2011
    comment arrow

    Hi,

    Very nice dance recital. I wish you had published the name of the dancer and where it was performed. I believe she is European. She has performed with grace and style. Her expressions, gestures, and movements were very good.

    Thanks,

    Raghu

    Reply

    carmen
    August 12th, 2014

    Yes she is a very graceful talented dancer from Ukraine, who studied kuchipudi in India under the direct guidance of Shri Mataji. Her name is Lena Lakshmi, would be nice if you could upload some info about her. She expresses so much bhakti (devotion) through her dance. It would be nice to be much more open towards the classical music and dance of India, as Shri Mataji has expressed, seeing something else than Bollywood.

    Reply

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