At the mention of the word Kuchipudi one’s thoughts go to either the classical dance form Kuchipudi, or to that of the Kuchipudi village in Movva Taluk, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh which is perhaps the only place in India, which has given its name to a classical dance form.
There continue to be more information through various media avenues showcasing Kuchipudi, the modern day or contemporary version, so to say, around the world by various artists, exponents, gurus, institutes, universities, etc. But when it comes to making available the various aspects with regard to the evolution, transformation, propagation, protection, preservation of the art form which has a documented history running over to centuries before us, there is a huge dearth and void which needs to be filled up to appreciate, imbibe, practice and propagate the nuances of the art form in totality. There is a huge information gap when it comes to facts about the people / community, their struggles, sacrifices, dedication, joy, journey from mere mortals to that of legends with the divine intervention / guidance, destiny and above all their commitment and steadfastness in undergoing all that was required to make this art form made available for us today.
It is in this regard, there is indeed a dire necessity to know and put in proper perspective the role and contribution of the torch bearers of the art form for centuries now, the Bhagavathamelam of Kuchipudi and their rich heritage. It is indeed a fortune, that their continuous efforts, role in painstakingly ensuring the perpetuity of the art form not only makes interesting reading but also a subject for research providing lessons all through the journey to make one a better human being foremost and an artist of high caliber. Even an iota of the qualities displayed by the pillars and the stalwarts of the Kuchipudi Bhagavathamelam could be internalized by the discerning student of the art form.
Having said that, one can easily decipher that an article would not suffice to cover all their stories or share all that they stood and continue to stand for, but the purport of this article is to provide a glimpse of the Bhagavathamelam tradition and provide impetus for one to undertake a more serious personal journey for further fulfillment in their pursuit in the realm of their art form – Kuchipudi.
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