Nritya Tarang - Spirit of Kuchipudi Dance by Amrita LahiriOrganised by: Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Performed by: Amrita Lahiri
There is a certain dramatic quality, precision and spontaneous energy that makes kuchipudi so exhilarating to watch. With roots in yakshagana, a folk theatre form, it is one of the eight classical dance forms of India based on the ancient Sanskrit text, Natya Shastra. This dance drama was named after a village in Andhra Pradesh, where it was created by the Brahmin villagers and began as a male-only art form.
Like other Indian classical dance forms, kuchipudi employs the use of mudras (hand gestures), abhinaya (emphatic facial expressions), rhythmic footwork and music to tell the story. It is identified by its brisk, complex moves, lilting rhythms and sensual curves, and, in philosophy, expresses the eternal human desire to unite with the divine. Most of the performances in the early days included rituals and invocations to the Hindu gods and goddesses.
Dancers such as Amrita Lahiri, who is known for her physicality and sprightliness, add their own sense of aesthetics to the form. One of the foremost young performers and choreographers of kuchipudi today, Amrita has been described by critics as a dancer "gifted with a radiant stage presence". She trained under renowned gurus Leela Samson, Jaikishore Mosalikanti, Anuradha Nehru, Swapnasundari and Seetha Nagajothy, and has also been praised for bringing a new dimension to the dance form.
Catch her as she performs a diverse repertoire of works by kuchipudi choreographers, including classic pieces such as Natesha Kautuam and Usha Parinayam, as a well as a tarangam, in which the dancer performs rhythmic patterns on the edge of a brass plate, a trademark of kuchipudi.
Vasudha Ravi, vocals
Lakshmi Krishnan, nattuvangam
V M Sai Akileshwar, mridangam
Srividya Sriram, violin