Kuchipudi is one of the eight major Indian classical dance forms, which is believed to have originated in the village of Kuchipudi, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a dance-drama performance rooted in the ancient Hindu Sanskrit text of Natya Shastra.It developed as a religious art linked to traveling bards, temples and spiritual beliefs, like all major classical dances of India. Its first complete compilation dates between 200BCE and 200 CE.
The performance commences with an invocation. Each costumed actor is introduced, their role stated, and they then perform a short preliminary dance set to dharavu or music. Next, the performance presents the nritta or pure dance followed by the nritya or the expressive part of the performance where rhythmic hand gestures help convey the story. Vocal and instrumental Carnatic music in the Telugu language accompanies the performance. The typical musical instruments in Kuchipudi are mridangam, cymbals, veena, flute and the tambura.