Difference Between Bharatnatyam and Kuchipud

A distinctive and traditional form of Indian classical dance, Bharatnatyam originated from Tamil Nadu, which is a culturally rich state. Revived in the 19th and 20th century, Bharatnatyam is an exceptional type of dance which is a signature of the ancient art of Cathir. Kuchipud on the other hand is a form of Indian classical dance, originating from Andhra Pradesh, which is a South Indian state.

Bharatnatyam and Kuchipud differ have a number of delicate distinctions, starting from the dresses used in these dance forms. The poses of Bharatnatyam are more sculptured while those of Kuchipud are round in nature.

Bharatnatyam is considered as a the fire dance, which reflects the inner fire of a human body; whereas, the Kuchipud showcases a person’s desire to meet the God.

Bharatnatyam attire usually consists of three fans of variable heights, which form an impression of the scattering portions of a pleated sari. On the other hand, Kuchipud dresses comprise of just a single fan which is quite lengthy as compared to any fan of Bharatnatyam.


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    Bharatnatyam is an integral part of Cathir art, which was traditionally portrayed by the temple dancers in ancient India. This kind of dance started from a small village ‘Divi Taluq’ in the district of Krishna, adjoining the Bay of Bengal. The Brahmin inhabitants of the village used to practice this dance form and it eventually became popular in the region. Bharatnatyam and Cathir are influenced by the sculptures of the antique Chidambaram Temple. This form of dance is known for its softness, elegance, grace, clarity and sculptured poses.

    Since its inception, Bharatnatyam is related to fire dance, inspired by mystic metaphysical rudiments of fire in the human body. This is the reason why different poses of this dance form reflect the movements of a dancing flame.

    Image courtesy: gettyimages.com

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    Kuchipud became popular during the reign of Abul Hassan Tanesha, who belonged to the Golconda Dynasty. There was this oncew when Kuchipudi Brahmins presented this dance form in the court of the King and he was so impressed that he granted 600 acres of land to the Kuchipudi Brahmins.

    Most of the Kuchipud poses are flat-footed, dazzling, brisk and overall curved, forming a round shape. The exposition of Kuchipud includes ‘jatiswaram’ and ‘tillana’, and makes an effort to strengthen one’s spiritual connection with God.

    Image courtesy: gettyimages.com

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