Kuchipudi ) is one of the ten major Indian classical dances.[2] It originated in a village of Krishna district in modern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.[3]

Kuchipudi is a dance-drama performance art, with its roots in the ancient Hindu Sanskrit text of Natya Shastra.[3][4][5] It developed as a religious art linked to traveling bards, temples and spiritual beliefs, like all major classical dances of India.[6] Evidence of Kuchipudi’s existence in an older version are found in copper inscriptions of the 10th century, and by the 15th century in texts such as the Machupalli Kaifat.[7][8] Kuchipudi tradition believes that Tirtha Narayana Yati – a sanyassin of Advaita Vedanta persuasion,[9] and his disciple an orphan named Siddhendra Yogi founded and systematized the modern version of Kuchipudi in the 17th century.[10][11][12] Kuchipudi largely developed as a Hindu god Krishna-oriented Vaishnavism tradition,[13] and it is most closely related to Bhagavata Mela performance art found in Tamil Nadu.[7]

The Kuchipudi performance usually begins with an invocation. Then, each costumed actor is introduced, their role stated, and who then performs a short dance prelim to music (dharavu). Next, the performance presents pure dance (nritta).[14] This is followed with expressive part of the performance (nritya), where rhythmic gestures as a sign language mime the play.[14][15] Vocalists and musicians accompany the artist, with the song recited in Telugu language, and the tala and raga set to (Carnatic music).[16] The typical musical instruments in Kuchipudi are mridangamcymbalsveenaflute and the tambura.[17]

The popularity of Kuchipudi has grown within India, and its performances held worldwide

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