About the Art Form

Kuchipudi, a unique Indian classical dance-drama performance art, derives its name from the village of Kuchelapuram, in Andhra Pradesh, India. Kuchipudi grew largely as a product of the Bhakti movement beginning in the seventh century A.D. However, it was in the 14th century that the ascetic Siddhendra Yogi appeared on the scene and gave Kuchipudi a new definition and direction.

Kuchipudi was originally a male dance tradition. Groups of men traveled from village to village enacting stories from the Hindu mythology. As in Elizabethan theatre, men portrayed the roles of women. Only in the last 100 years or so have women been introduced to this art form.

Kuchipudi is characterized by fast rhythms and fluid movements, creating a unique blend of control and abandon, strength and delicacy.


Director: Nilamani Venisetty



Introduction to Kuchipudi Dance, Basic warm up exercises, Learning guru Vandana, Adavus set 1, Natyothpathi, Shlokhas, Asamyutha hasthas, padha bedhas


Intermediate 1 Prerequisite: Beginner

Introduction to new dance forms, Introduction to abhinaya, Shlokha recitation, Adavus set 2, Jathis, Shiro, Drishthi bedhas


Intermediate 2 Prerequisite: Intermediate 1

History of Kuchipudi and Bhamakalapam, Kouthvam, Shabdham, Jathiswaram, Shlokhabhinayam


Intermediate 3 Prerequisite: Intermediate 2

Navarasa; Greeva, Bru bedhas; Nayaka Lakshana; Life histories of of Kshetraya, Narayanateertha, Jayadeva, Siddendrayogi, Ramadasa, Thyagaraja; Tharangam (dance on brass plate)


Advanced 1 Prerequisite: Intermediate 3

Bhava, Nayika Lakshana – part 2, Life history of Kuchipudi Trio, Keerthana, Pada varnam, Padam, Ashtapadi


Advanced 2 Prerequisite: Advanced 1

Loki Dharmi, Natya Dharmi, Dharuvu – Bhamakalapam, Thyagaraja Keerthana, Dashavataram