Dance Forms of Andhra Pradesh

Traditional and Folk Dances of Andhra Pradesh
Kuchipudi Dancer Vaidehi Kulkarni in Tribhanga Position
Andhra Pradesh is a beautiful state in South India known for its own distinct dance forms, characterized by wide variety of colors, costumes, music, and occasions.

Following are some of the popular dance forms of Andhra Pradesh:

Kuchipudi
Kuchipudi is one of the eight major classical dance forms of India and finds mention in Natyashastra. It originated in the Kuchipudi village in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. The dances are weaved around the stories of Lord Krishna centric Vaishnavism

Andhra Natyam
Andhra Natyam is a traditional dance form of Andhra Pradesh, with a rich history of more than 2000 years. It is derived from various dance forms and has a strong similarity with Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam. The dance is essentially performed by females and characterized by rich footwork and abhinaya.

Vilasini Natyam
Vilasini Natyam is a classical Telegu dance associated with the Devadasis of the Andhra Pradesh. It faced near-extinction due to Anti-Devadasi Dedication Act but survived by few dedicated dancers.

Veeranatyam
Veeranatyam means Dance of the Brave is an ancient dance form of Andhra Pradesh with a lot of religious significance. It is also known as Veerabhadra Nrityam and performed in the honor of Veerbhadra, the furious form of Lord Shiva.

Butta Bommalu
Butta Bommalu is a typical folk dance originated in Tanuku region of Andhra Pradesh, characterized with a colorful mask.

Tholu Bommalata
Tholu Bommalata is the shadow-puppet dance form of Andhra region. The performers of this exquisite art form are wandering entertainers and peddlers who pass through villages during the course of a year. The stories from Hindu epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana are featured in Tholu Bommalata.

Burrakatha
Burrakatha is a local performative art that originated in Guntur of Andhra Pradesh to spread political ideas among illiterate villagers. The narrative performance which includes prayers, drama, dance, songs, poems, and jokes. Here Burra means tambura and Katha means story.

Dappu
Dappu Nrityam is a simple folk dance which gets its name from the percussion music instrument of the same name "Dappu". In ancient times, it is usually performed to spread the message of important substance.

Tappeta Gullu
Tappeta Gullu is a popular folk dance of Andhra Pradesh with said roots in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, and Vishakhapatnam. It was performed by shepherds during the night when they were away from their home in the fields.

Lambadi
Lambadi is a folk dance of Andhra Pradesh associated with the Banjaras, a semi-nomadic tribe.

Dhimsa
Dhimsa is a tribal dance, performed by women of agriculturist Porja caste of Andhra Pradesh.

Kolatam
Kolatam or the stick dance of the Andhra Pradesh is usually performed during village festivals. It is similar to Dandi ras in Gujarat and Garbha in Rajasthan. It is also known by the names of Kolannalu and Kolkolannalu.

Also read: Folk and Traditional Dances of India