Telugu States Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is vividly famous for it’s rich cultural heritage imbibed with distinct danceforms, belonging to different places. Dance is one of the fascinating forms of performing arts that has been encouraged from centuries.
Some of the attractive and popular folk dances are furnished below:
Kuchipudi – It is considered as one of the eminent dance forms originated Andhra Pradesh. Siddhendra Yogi is the pioneer for this famous classical dance in the 17th century.It is not only a dance form, but also a fine amalgamation of dance,gestures,speech and songs. It is mandatory for the kuchipudi dancer to be well equipped with facial expressions,dancing,acting,music,various languages and texts. This beautiful dance form was evolved during the “Bhakti Movement’’.
BurraKatha – This is a very unique traditional dance form which is practised from ancient times. It is commonly known as “Jangam Kadha”. It depicts the narration of mythological stories, and to view it large number of crowd gather together from far-way places to enjoy the ambience. In this the male artist narrates the story,plays the music and dances to the rhymthic beats of the music.The name burra katha is coined after the musical instrument ‘’Burra which is a modern form of ballad singing.This dance form is evolved from the traditional Tandana Katha.It fetches a lot of relaxation,rejuvenation ,enthusiasm to rural masses upto peaks.Here burra refers to tambura- a musical instrument played by story –teller to grab the attention of viewers.He wears a metal on his right thumb and holds another ring in hand.A hasyam clown gives comic relief. They play the dakki( earthen-drum) which is essential for this folk dance.As it is polygamous their wives potray the role of assistants and instumentalists.The folk dance compositions differs at different stages which depicts the moods and incidents.
Mathuri – This is a special type of tribal folk dance. It is generally performed during the monsoon season(Shravana masam).This popular dance form is grandly celebrated by the Mathuri tribes residing in Adilabad district.Women folk parcitipate delightfully and form inner circle and men form outer inner-circle.The dancers sing devotional,secular songs and dance actively .Men strike small sticks and women clap along with them.It is assumed that Mathuri dances have close resemblance to Rasa-Leela of Uttarpradesh.
Dandariya – The Gonds from the hilly region of North Hyderabad district enact with a stick dance form known as Dandaria house. A group of male dancers are dressed in colourful special costumes and visit the nearby villages.The guests and the hosts dance together in anti-clockwise direction.They also posses drums,trumpets that are held in their hands.The musicians lead the procession.Dandaria a descendants of Pandava and celebrate this dance form with a lot of grace and joy.
Bathakamma -This is a famous gigantic festival grandly celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and joy in the Telangana state.Women folk gather in large numbers and dance to the beats of the music inculcating the spirutality. Goddess Bathukamma is deeply worshiped by ardent devotees and taken to nearby rivers or lakes and floated in the evening. .This auspicious festival is very significant to newly married women. They perform this festival with a great devotional feeling to prevail peace and success in their lives .Once upon a time there was a Rajput king having a beautiful daughter named Sajjanbai. After marriage her inlaws send her back to her father’s home as she failed to discharge household activities. Later she prayed Goddess Bathkamma to bestow her a prosperous life 4ever.
Bhamakalapam & Golkalapam – They are important traditional dance forms written by Siddhendra Yogi in the 17th century.It is evolved from Kuchipud.It is a blend of dance and drama. These are famous folk dances that is widely celebrated in all regions of Andra Pradesh. It is a fine example of feminine movements which are used in dance(lasya) opposite to masculine movements which are present in the tandava of Yakshagana and Kathakali. Each character potrays a self introductory paragraph.Main character narrates her experience while the other encourages by asking questions or making comments.It contains elaborate expresions and complex gestures adhered in Kuchipudi.Golkalapam is a philosophical play in which milkmaid explains to the Brahmin, the philosphy behind God’s persisting appearance on earth and threats to Dharma.
Butta Bommalu – This is a popular folk dance which is happily celebrated with a lot of grace in Tanuku region West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh. The dancers wear attractive masks and potray different characters to entertain masses with their delicate movements,accompanied by non-verbal or silent music.Butta bommalu means basket toys which are made of wood husk,dry grass and cow dung.
Dappu (Dance of the Percusion) – It is a very lively dance form which is originated from Nizamabad district.Masses view this folk dance with a lot of anxiety and excitement.Here the dancer wears colorful attractive clothing and dances according to the rhymth of the musical tones of the harmonium,table,and cymbals.In this dance forms, the themes are generally based on diferent mythological stories.
TappetaGullu – (Dance of the Rain God) It is one of the famous devotional folk dance prevalent in Srikakulam and Vijaynagaram. It has vigor,rhymth and tempo that is performed to invoke rain god.In this particular dance form artists are found hanging drum around their necks and produce beats with movements.
Bonalu – ( Dance of the balancing pots) This is a very auspicious unique dance form which is grandly celebrated with a lot of vibrant colors and hype in Telangana .It is a pride festival for the Telangana people.Here the female dancers catch the rhymthic beats while balancing pots on their heads.This is performed to please the Village diety Mahankali Potharajus perform the dance in the temple.
Kolatam – This is a famous dance form performed with a stick which is similar to Dandiya dance, a popular folk dance of Gujarat.It is also known as ‘’Kolkolannalu or Kolanndu’’ It is usally performed during village festivals.It is a perfect blend of rhymthic movements,songs and music.Folk dances are extremely vivacious and colorful which are appealing to the senses.
Gobbi dance – This is one of the famous dance forms which is grandly celebrated with a lot of joy,enthusiasm in the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh.It is a major attraction during Sankranthi festival.People from different places come to village and actively participate in this festival.During this occasion all the females woke up early in the morning and wash the enterance of their homes with cow-dung water. Later the women folk gather together at a common place and make beautiful and attractive rangoli (rangavali) which is a major attraction.Marigold flowers are kept on the top of the cowdung balls which is called Gobi. .Young teenage girls wear beautiful langavani and dance around the gobbilu and sing songs in a jovial manner. It is a part of promoting rich cultural heritage.
Dhimsa –(Dance of the Hill Tribes) This is a popular traditional tribal dance of Valmiki,Bagata,Khond and Kotia tribes predominant in the Araku valley.It is performed by women folk of irrespective of age in the hilly regions of Visakhapatnam.It is celebrated during the month of April and March(Chaitra masam) The dancers wear tribal saree, attractive ornaments ,sing songs and dance with a lot of excitement on weddings and festivals.A monthly magazine is published by the name of Dhimsa. It is a part of promoting tourism. It represents friendship and fraternity of villages.
Lambadi – (Dance of the Nomads) It is performed by banjarans (semi-nomadic tribe) to celebrate loaded harvest,planting or good sowing season.The dancers wear a huge distinct clothing,decorate themselves with heavy jewellery,glassbeads,attractive ivory bangles and ornaments,brass anklets sing songs and dance delightfuly.
Veeranatyam – It is an ancient dance form that has lot of religious significance The term Veera means brave.Lord Shiva pickled out ‘’Jatajuta’’ which created Veerabadra. It is known as (Dance of Percussion) This refers to the dance of Lord Shiva when he became furious with the humiliation and death of Sati. It is also known as dance of destruction. This is practised by the Veeramusti Community who claimed to be the descendants of Veerabhadra.
From Ancient period these beautiful dance forms represent the hidden and constructive traditions and culture.