Kuchipudi derives its name from the village of Kuchipudi in Andhra Pradesh. Originally a dance drama, enacted in the open air theatres, the dance form was exclusively the preserve of men. Only in recent years the form has evolved as a solo dance for the concert platform and is practised and performed by women too.
The movements in Kuchipudi are quick silver and scintillating, rounded and fleet footed. Performed to classical Carnatic music, it has many similarities to Bharatanatyam.
The songs in Kuchipudi are mimed with alluring expressions, swift looks and fleeting emotions. The Kuchipudi repertoire abounds in 'Krishna' theme - his life and the many events therein. Special mention must be made of 'Krishna Shabdam', 'Bhamakalapam' and 'Tarangam' for their evergreen appeal. 'Tarangam' from Krishnaleela Tarangini is unique to Kuchipudi. The dancer balances herself on the rim of a brass plate and executes steps to the beat of the mridangam (percussion).