Dances of Andhra Pradesh
India's age old culture and tradition is incomplete, without
mentioning the various dance forms having related to a particular
period or environment. Similarly, every state of India boasts of its
different classical and folk dance forms. Andhra Pradesh is also the
proud owner of some of the most beautiful famous dance forms. It
offers a variety of performing arts unique to its culture.
Kuchipudi Dance - The Classical Dance Form
Kuchipudi, the famous classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh derives
its name from a village, situated about 60 km. away from Vijayawada.
It is located just above the delta region of the river Krishna.
Kuchipudi originated from a hamlet in Andhra Pradesh, called
Kuchelapuri or Kuchelapuram in the 3rd century B.C.
¤ Folk Dances
Apart from the classical dance form, Andhra Pradesh is also known for
its tribal dances. They also contribute equally to the artistic
heritage of Andhra Pradesh. Since Andhra Pradesh is inhabited by many
large tribes, thus, it is rich in traditional folk and tribal dances.
The folk dance forms are accompanied by the folk theater the can be
seen in its regional forms almost in every region of the state.
Bathakamma, Gobbi, Mathuri, Dhamal, Dandaria, Dappu, Vadhyam are a few
famous tribal folk arts. The dances of the Banjaras and the Siddi
tribes are also famous. These dances are generally performed on the
occasion of community festivals.
This dance form is performed by the Veeramusti community of Andhra
Pradesh which claims to be the descendant of Veerabhadra. This is a
vigorous dance form performed with instruments like Tambura, Soolam,
Dolu, Tasha & Veeranam. This community is usually found at
Draksharamam in East Godavari District. It is believed that Lord
Shiva, performed an aggressive dance form, outraged at the humiliation
of his consort. He plucked a strand out of his long hair and created
the legendary Veerabhadra.
¤ Butta Bommalu
The Butta Bommalu is a typical folk dance form popular in Tanuku of
West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Butta Bommalu literally
means basket toys, made of woodhusk, dry grass & cow dung. The
dancers wear different mask over the head and shoulders, thus widening
the range of the performer.
This folk dance form is performed mainly in Telangana. The highlight
of this dance form is an instrument made of goatskin. It is a
tambourine like drum which is beaten with sticks creating a rhythm
accompanied by the ankle bells worn by the dancers. Almost 16 to 20
Dappu dancers perform at a time.
¤ Chindu Bhagavatham
The Chindu Bhagavatham dance is an alive dance form belonging to the
Nizamabad district. The Chindu dancers wear colorful make-up along
with even more colorful costumes. The instruments used for this dance
form are cymbals, tabla & a harmonium.
The Tappetagullu is popular dance form of Srikakulam &
Vizianagaram districts. This is a devotional dance form, performed in
order to persuade the God of rain to bless the land with rainfall. The
Tappetagullu is a prefect combination of vigor, rhythm and tempo.
This dance form is inspired by the daily chores of a farmer, like
harvesting, planting, sowing etc. The Lambadi dance form is performed
by the Banjaras, a semi-nomadic tribe found all over Andhra Pradesh.
The folk festival of Bonalu is celebrated in the Telangana region. On
the occasion of this festival, colorfully dressed female dancers
preform a difficult balancing act. These dancers balance pots
(bonalu), matching to the rhythmic beats and tunes, in order to pay
homage to the village deity, Mahankali.
The Dhimsa folk dance is generally performed in local fairs &
festivals of Araku Valley in Vishakhapatanam district. Almost 15 to 20
tribal women dressed in typical tribal attire and ornaments, form a
chain and dance to the rhythm. Some of the instruments used for this
dance form are Mori, Thudum & Dappu, played by the male members of