Origin of Dance

Lord Brahma created “Natya Veda” from the 4 Vedas. Brahma collectively took Literature (Paathyam) from Rig Veda, Music (Geetham) from Sama Veda, Expressions (Abhinaya) from Yajur Veda and Sentiments (Rasa) from Atharva Veda and created the fifth Veda called “Natya Veda”. 


Later Devendra (Indra) was initiated into this Veda and he suggested sages to be introduced into this and hence Brahma invited Sage Bharatha (Bharatha Muni) and introduced him to “Natya Veda”. Sage Bharatha then gathered his disciples and experimented the “Natya Veda”. Brahma found the need of woman and vocal music to this art and created Apsaras and entrusted the music to Sage Narada & the Gandharvas and the instrumental music to Sage Swati. Thus, the first dance group was formed, and it gained popularity among Gods and later Sage Bharatha’s disciples established it on the earth during King Nahusha’s period.

Evolution of Kuchipudi

Kuchipudi is the name of a small village (Agrahara) in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh State. Kuchipudi Natya started as a dance drama tradition. It was a male oriented tradition belonging to Bhagavatha Mela. The masters of Kuchipudi used to perform popular dramas and Kalapas – Bhama Kalapam, Golla Kalapam being the famous ones. Kuchipudi Gurus used to train dancing girls and Devadasis, but they were not allowed to participate in the performances. Siddhendra Yogi is said to be the founder of Kuchipudi, who a devotee of Lord Krishna was well versed in Natya Sastra. He composed the dance drama “Parijathapaharanam” and taught this to the Brahmin boys of the village and was performed once every year. Their sons and descendants were expected to preserve this tradition. Devadasis of the village requested Siddhendra Yogi to teach them “Bhamakalapam” but he refused permission.

Later Kuchipudi Bhagavathars were able to understand the changing needs of the audience and based on Natya Sastra they found new methods of performing the art form. A solo repertoire was defined which consisted of specific items like Tharangams, Keerthanas, Padams, Javalis, Ashtapadis, Sabdams etc. Vedantham Laxmi Narayana Sastry (1880 – 1940) was the first person who introduced this solo system in Kuchipudi dance tradition. The initial reluctance was overcome and Bhagavathars welcomed female students and other male students outside their families.

Kuchipudi is one among the 9 classical dance forms of India today. It has gained its popularity within and outside India and is performed by both men and women.


Learning any classical dance form of India gives one a better body, mind and soul.

  • Understanding of Indian cultural history & stories from Epics for the new generation

  • Better Mind-Body coordination, Hand-Eye coordination

  • Body is trained to get better balancing

  • Stage performance giving way to overcome public fear

  • Muscles are toned and gain strength

  • Builds stamina

  • Good workout for weight loss (~500 calories burnt/hour)

Basic Nuances

As with any classical dance form, the basics of Kuchipudi start with Adavus (basic steps). Then the student will be introduced to Jathis (combination of steps) and Mudras (hand gestures).

Further training will be required to master the art form and is not limited to -

  • Pada Bhedas (Leg Variations)

  • Usages of Asamyukta Hastas (Single Hand Gestures)

  • Usages of Samyukta Hastas (Double Hand Gestures)

  • Dwadasa Hasta Pranas (12 hand movements)

  • Siro Bhedas (Head movements)

  • Dristi Bhedas (Eye movements)

  • Chathurvidha Abhinayas (Angika, Vachika, Aaharya, Sathvika)

  • Navarasas

  • Bhru Bhedas (Eyebrow movements)

  • Griva Bhedas (Neck Movements)

Nritta Nritya Natya
Kuchipudi dance class