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Anand Swaroop Manchiraju
Digital Art - Digital Art
The classical dance drama tradition of Kuchipudi came into existence in the 7th century A.D., in the historical land of Andhra Pradesh, a terrain of fertile coastal plains and lofty hills. Traditionally, themes from the holy Hindu scripture, the Purana, were enacted at temple festivals. These were in the form of dance dramas performed only by men. Kuchipudi was restructured over a period of time by several renowned dance-Gurus. Consequently, Kuchipudi now includes in its repertoire, solo dance compositions that are performed by men as well as women.
In the solo dance repertoire, the devotional mood, or bhakti rasa, and the erotic mood, or shringara rasa, are depicted. The underlying message of the shringara rasa is the merging of the soul or the Jeev atma with the Supreme Being or the Param atma. Kuchipudi dances are resplendent with stories of the divine couple Lord Krishna and Radha.. especially derived from Geet Govindam.
It takes at least five years of meticulous training before a person is considered ready for the first stage performance or Rangpravesh.
The dancer reverently initiates the recital with a dance composition that expresses obeisance to the stage, Rang Pooja.
The ambiance is that of an ancient Indian temple. Music of the Carnatic style, complete with cymbals, drums or mridangam, flute, and violin accompanies the dancer�s movements. Devotional songs in Telugu and Sanskrit enrich the performance. As the recital progresses, so does the complexity of the dance compositions. Shabdam, Keertanam, and Tarangam are dance compositions that get the viewer totally engrossed.
Complete stillness prevails as the most distinctive and challenging dance composition the Tarangam, is performed. Complete focus is required as a vessel full of water is placed on the dancer�s head, as she balances her body over the rim of a brass plate. The dancer then proceeds to perform complex nritta and nritya dance sequences.
The performance concludes with an offering of gratitude, Guru Vandana.
Classical dance transcends the confines of spoken communication. It leaves a lasting impact enamoring, and delighting the onlooker.
April 30th, 2013
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