Sutradhar Institute of 
Dance & Related Arts 



The dance style known as Kuchipudi is many things. It is the name of a village. It also refers to the tradition of centuries past dance drama called Kuchipudi Bhagawatmela nurtured by the male Brahmin dancers of Andhra Pradesh. It is also the name of recently emerged solo dance form called Kuchipudi. This is the tradition in which Sidhendra Yogi, a Telugu poet (of the 17th century,) composed the dance drama Bhama Kalapam a central, beautiful item in Kuchipudi dance repertoire. In the 1920 pioneer dancers visionaries of Kuchipudi village like the late laxmi Narain Vedantam, Prahlad Vedantam, Sarma Jagannath, Satyanarain Vedanam, Vempati Chinna Satyam enriched and guided its recent evolution. In this remerged solo dance form it ino longer belongs to the male Brahmin guild and is available to men and women everywhere. At its core, however, Kuchipudi retains its dramatic origins.

Unlike any dance tradition in the world today, the genres of Indian classical dance including Kuchipudi, are seen as pathways to intellectual, physical and spiritual freedom.  Dance is not merely performance etiquette nor even schooling of the body, but rather is a vehicle of comprehensive spiritual understanding alongside parallel streams of yoga and monastic practices.  Here asceticism is celebrated by using "hasta mudras" hand gestures, harmonious shapes, blissful song and mystic poetry to plunge into the realm of spirit and overcome  ignorance or 'avidya.'  Every aspect of the classical tradition is engineered to access the soul: the cyclic rhythm which suggests infinitude of self, ragas of emotion in music, and yearning phrases of mystic poetry.  The dancer in training becomes a master of mind as well as body and embarks on a process so profound that it has consequences not only of the self but of those that observe the art as audience members. Whether dancer or perceiver of the dance, the potential power of the art of Kuchipudi when released is remarkable.
"O ocean of beauty, form and formlessness, divine Goddess, bless this infinite transcendent creation" - Saundarya Lahari