Kuchipudi, one of the art forms of the South had its origin in Andhra Pradesh. Actors sing and dance, and the style is a blend of folk and classical.
Lyrics used in Kuchipudi are usually in Telugu, though Sanskrit verses are also not uncommon.
Kuchipudi dance-dramas, each present a particular episode or a series of episodes. A solo recital, on the other hand, typically consists of such items as the ‘Sabdam’, ‘Bhama kalapam’ which is the main item, ‘Padams’ and ‘Tarangams’. In ‘Bhama kalapam’, the dancer has enormous scope for the dramatisation of characters.
Kuchipudi is a perfect balance between “Nritta”, “Nritya” and “Natya”. The Nritta is a rhythmic sequence that concludes a song; the Nritya or “Sabdams” in which the rhythmic passages are followed by interpretations and Natya is a complete dance drama with storyline and characters.
Orchestral music is used for began the play which included Mridanga, Madala and a pair of cymbals, followed by an invocation to a deity and appearance of Ganesha, the elephant headed God to bless the performance.
It contained some very complicated items of original footwork such as tracing out an outline of a lion or an elephant with the feet on the floor or dancing with the feet on the edges of a circular brass tray or with a water pot delicately and precariously balanced on the head.
Today Kuchipudi is considerably a different style of dance form than it originally used to be. In most of the cases it is now a solo performance done by female dancers.