Kuchipudi is one of India’s eight classical dance forms, distinguished by its light footed movements and dramatic content. It is named after a village in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, where it originated.

Kuchipudi began in the 16th century as an all-male dance form, well-known for its dance dramas. In the 20th century, two maestros from the original village- Guru Vedantam Lakshminarayana Sastry and Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam- helped expand the form to women and developed a solo repertoire.

While the content of most Kuchipudi dances was primarily Hindu mythology, the vocabulary and grammar is expansive and allows for explorations on any theme- spiritual or secular. What used to be an all-male dance-drama form done in rural Andhra Pradesh has spread all over the world into one of the most dynamic, evocative art forms, performed internationally at leading arts centres.

Watch here to learn more about the difference between Bharatanatyam (the most well-known of Indian classical dances) and Kuchipudi-