“Dance is a song of the body. Either of joy or pain.” – Martha Grayham

Kuchipudi is the other Indian classical dance that originated from a dance drama tradition. Native to the state of Andhra Pradesh, the style derives its name from the village of its origin, Kuchipudi. Originally, only male dancers performed various episodes from the Bhagavatas (with the central character of Lord Krishna). During its revival, Kuchipudi was adapted to create a solo form for stage presentation and its practice was opened to female dancers also.

Even though it appears to be similar to Bharatanatyam in costume and make up, Kuchipudi is very different in form and presentation. This dance form truly has in it all the aspects of dance as mentioned by Natyashastra, Nritta meaning pure dance, Nritya meaning expressional dance and Natya meaning dance drama. The presentation of dance drama in Kuchipudi strictly follows the rules of traditional Sanskrit theatre. The pure dance is usually based on complicated and fast rhythmic patterns complemented by a very flexible and mobile upper body. Though the mood of each item is based on the corresponding theme and characters and the origin of the style rooted in Bhakti or devotional tradition, the movement language of Kuchipudi brings out the spirit of vivaciousness, sensuality and femininity that is unique to the style. This is perhaps the influence of a popular and widely presented character of Kuchipudi, Satyabhama - an extremely candid and vivacious character from mythology.