Andhra Natyam is a classical dance form from the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a style that became extinct but was revived in the 20th century.
It is derived from the general soup of south Indian dance forms. Therefore, it shows strong similarities to such forms as Kuchipudi, and Bharat Natyam, as well as the older forms of Dasi Attam, Kacheri Attam, Chinna Melam, and a host of others.
There are a number of unresolved questions concerning Andhra Natyam. Is it really a distinct dance form, or is it just another flavour of the Kuchipudi / Bharat Natyam tradition? How rigorous was the scholarship in its reconstruction? Can we assign an age that extends back further than its reconstruction? Is it even possible to reconstruct a tradition, especially in a near absence of reliable documentation? It is unfortunate that these questions are being answered according to political agendas, and not according to valid academic and artistic criteria.
© 1998 - 2017 David and Chandrakantha Courtney
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