The work on this book started many years ago as a result of a felt need amongst us at DARPANA for a reference work which showed the sophistication and complexity of Kuchipudi, but was simple to follow.
With the vast knowledge of my guru, C. R. Acharya, and the help of many manuscripts, both published and in the DARPANA Academy Library, this book is the first textbook in English for students of this form.
Many hours went into learning and reconstructing from texts the Karanas, and I thank Bharat Bariya and Jagruti Raval for their help in posing for the photographs. My thanks also to Fr. Rappai S. J. for the adavu, padabheda and karana photos; to Mrinalini Sarabhai for the navarasa photos and for her constant guidance; to Suman Jayakrishna who designed this book as part of a study project; to Sanjay Morlidhar and Sri. Pandarinathan for helping with the layout and artwork; to all those of DARPANA and Mapin Publishing who have made this book possible; and above all to my guru C. R. Acharya who has inspired in all of us a deep and abiding love for and joy in Kuchipudi.
My gratitude is also due to Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan for taking the time to write a Foreword and to the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts for co-publishing this book.
About the Author:
Guru C. R. Acharya, born in a family of ritual dance gurus, learned under the veteran Lakshminarayan Shastry. Together they took Bhagavata Mela Natakam out of Kuchipudi village and interpreted it as a solo form the first time. Guru of some of India's most celebrated Kuchipudi performers, he has been teaching at the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts since 1950.
Mallika Sarabhaihas trained under Guru C. R. Acharya and has been a Kuchipudi performer since the late seventies. She has been involved in researching the style for many years, and as a performer has taken this style all over the world. She is also involved in producing educational videos to explain the intricacies of classical dance to a lay audience.
a. Dance dramas
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