Andhra Pradesh is highly popular for its ecotourism. The state has one of the most holiest Hindu pilgrimage site in form of the Lord Venkateswara temple. This Vaishnavite temple at Tirupati is located in Chittoor district. The folk dances of this state are extremely vivacious and colorful and are appealing to the senses. Some of the most popular folk dances of Andhra Pradesh are as follows-
Kuchipudi- Most prominent of the folk dances of Andhra Pradesh
Kuchipudi is recognized as a classical dance in India and it is extremely popular in the southern states. The name ‘Kuchipudi’ is derived from a village named divi and the Brahmins residing in that village.
Earlier forms of Kuchipudi were more dramatic and the dancers explicitly showed their emotions on stage. This dance drama mainly created awareness of the evil power that existed in the world.
Each move in this dance has its own meaning. Each step after the initial move is called as dharavu that portrays variegated stories. Kuchipudi gives importance to each and every part of the body and hence it is considered to have fluid like motion .
The modern form of the dance is considered to have both fast and slow movements which are performed with grace by the dancer. High forbearance is required to learn this dance form. The dancers generally wear elaborate ornaments that scintillate along with their performances.
This folk dance form is the modern name for the theatrical performance of the dance drama- Jangam Katha and it depicts the devotion of the dancers to the Almighty.
Burra Katha involves the dancers to express their faith towards god with the aid of music and dance. Generally this dance form consists of a mix of 4 to 5 males and females dancing separately to the music. The famous Indian classical musical instrument Veena is used as an aid for the music. The word burra in Telugu means skull and katha means narration of a story in Sanskrit.
One of the oldest dance forms of folk dances of Andhra Pradesh is the Andhra Natyam. This dance form was visibly on the verge of death during the colonial and the Mughal empire era but fortunately this dance from was revived in the 20th century.
This dance form is similar to that of Bharata Natyam in Tamil Nadu but has a different provenance-i.e. it originated in Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Natyam is spiritual in nature and both men and women artists perform on this.
Veera means brave, thus Veeranatyam essentially means dance of the brave. This dance form also is called by several names- Veerangam and Veerabhadra Nriyatam.
This dance form is performed by to appease Lord Shiva and to portray his bravery. Legend tells us that Lord Shiva’s arose when Sati was humiliated and danced to express his fury which led to the destruction of a town. Lord Shiva touched his jatajuda and created Veerabhadra. This dance is also called as Pralayam meaning destruction.
The descendants of Veerabhadra- the folk of the Veeramushti community carry on this age old dance form. This dance is performed mainly by men of the Veeramushti community.