At a glance :
Region : Andhra Pradesh
Earlier Known as : Chinna Melam, Kacheri Aatam, Carnatakam, Kelika, Nattuva Melam, Daasi Aatam and Kelika
Started In : Seventeenth Century
This dance form is a very traditional form of Andhra Pradesh, which was started around two thousand years back. This is a devotional dance, which was presented within the shrines by the Devadasis. It is known as a worshiping form. In the earlier time, it was a common to perform the dance form in the temples, where ever it is. All the forms of the dance have been differentiated in different sections. This traditional dance form called by various names such as Chinna Melam, Carnatakam, Kacheri Aatam, Nattuva Melam, Daasi Aatam and more. After some time, dancing women and Anna Bathula Bule Venkata Ratnamma decided that this dance form must have one name; from that time, this spiritual dance got the name that is Andhra Natyam. Till the period of the Buddhist religion, the old Andhra Natyam form had been stretched. If you will see the Buddhuist Stupa which is located at Amaravathi, over this you can see the sculpted women figures dancing, this sculpture is committed to the Buddha's feet as an Atmarpana. as the Nruthyam, this dance form has been practiced. Nruthyam means the type of worshipping the God, while the Hinayana Buddhism period.
Andhra Natyam dance form's father is considered to Dr. Nataraja Ramkrishna, because he reborn this form, when it was reached on the point of vanishing. In the Perini dance, this man carried the rejuvenation, but it was too abolished. If you have seen the Bharatnatyam dance form, then you will get to know the similarity in the Andhra Natyam dance and Bhratnatyam dance. Might be the reason behind this, is both the forms are belonged from the shrine dance, of southern region and it was also presented in the Vaishnava and Shiva shrines. These two classical style dance forms are stand on the Natya Shastra of Bharata and Adhinava Darpana of Nandikesa. During the yore days, this dance is presented by the very cultured females. This dance is tradition of the women; and the attractive aspect of this dance is, it's foot work moment which called as Abhinaya.
In the present time, the Andhra Natyam dance form also includes the tradition of Lasya, which is women dance tradition. The dance which practiced by men warrior is known as a Perini. This dance is performed with an energetic moments, it includes quick footsteps and with the spirit of Lord Shiva. Every dance form contains some or different types of attire or costume particularly for dance performance but in this dance, the artists don't wear specific type of cloths, they just wear a sober sarees. Earlier, the performers were very much nice and at that time they were wearing cotton sari which has been decorated by using the border of zari on few times. To spread the talent of this traditional dance form, there is university in the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, which offers the diploma course of the Andhra Natyam dance of 5 years. While your trip of Andhra Pradesh must visit the performance of the Andhra Natyam ,which is a sign of Andhra Pradesh state's cultural tradition.