Tag Archives: Art

Kalakada & Andhra’s Great Past

The following Post was composed by Spandana garu. You can follow her on Twitter.


Kalakada Temple

Andhra Pradesh is now making its move towards becoming a technology giant, industrial giant, and what not —all these are positive signs to the growth of our newly re-born State. But at the same time, here we should never forget, we are nothing without our identity…and our identity is our culture, our past, our roots. Just a small introspection is needed for us. How well are we treating our monuments, our old temples, old forts (signs of our past)? Penukonda being the second capital of Great Vijayanagara Emperors, how is its present condition…how many actually visit?

Its not about Penukonda alone; it’s similar condition with all our monuments. Hope we realise monuments are not just old walls and buildings, but they are remnants of our ancestors.

#History of #Kalakada (Chittoor District) has an interesting back ground.

Kalakada

1. #Siddavattam was a kingdom in Kadapa District. According to the oral histories of the region, around the 15th century C.E,  there was a king by the name Chandra Sekhar Varma, of the Vydhaba dynasty. He was an honest but strict king. He had a beautiful daughter, Princess Sathyavathi.

2.It so happened on God’s wish that Sathyavathi became pregnant, despite being unmarried. The Raja became harsh and questioned Sathyavathi about her pregnancy, demanding to know who was responsible for her condition. Sathyavathi replied that she was innocent and unaware of the cause. He couldn’t believe  her.  ‘Sathyavathi’ was a great devotee of Lord Siva. She prayed to him to prove her innocence.

3.Being ashamed of his daughter, Chandra Sekhara Varma wanted to get rid of her. As per his strict view, she had committed an unpardonable crime. The King ordered his daughter to cross Seven outskirts of villages by carrying a pot full of toddy on her head (Kallu), under which there was a Cobra.The pot was made  of wet clay. The punishment imposed on his daughter was unfair and humanly impossible, and at any moment, his daughter would die due to Cobra bite. Sathyavathi agreed to her father’s command and started her journey.

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4. The King sent his trusted soldiers along with her. Praying to Lord Siva devoutly, Sathyavathi crossed 7outskirts of villages successfully, and she put down the pot after journeying to an appropriate place. To her astonishment, there was no Toddy (Kallu) in the pot, and instead there was ‘Siva linga’ and a Cobra with its hood on it. The pot disappeared. The Siva Linga is named as “#Kallu #Ghateswar” as it appeared from a pot of toddy (Kallu). It is told that due to her virtue, Sathyavathi turned into a river. Today, there’s a Sangamam (confluence of rivers)with  #Bahuda and #Sathyavathi, where the Siva Linga was installed by Sathyavathi.

5. The local people worshipped Lord Siva and Sathyavathi wholeheartedly. The king came to know the story and repented much for  his foolishness in punishing his innocent daughter. He did namaskaara before ‘Lord Siva’ and asked for forgiveness for this sin. This name of Lord  Siva (‘Kallu-Ghata’) in due  course of time became Kalakada today. Because he fulfilled the wishes of the people, Sadashiva is called “Siddheswara”, which means fulfillment of wishes to those who prayed to Him.

This local legend is considered a real historical story that took place . To this day, people from the 7 outskirt villages come to Kalakada, through the same path by which Sathyavathi travelled, every year and offer their prayers.

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There’s a Pallava period monument in the Town (which is under the Archaeology department). At the same time, the pathetic condition of monuments isn’t hidden as well. Kalakada is not the only place. This wonderful state is blessed abundantly with historical monuments, beautiful architecture, and many old Temples.

Another completely neglected monument, probably a #pallava structure and later improved by #Vijayanagara, is this one. It is a temple with great history. Once a grand structure, it is  now prey for our negligence. Our monuments are in utmost need of care and protection.

Heritage sites in Andhra Pradesh are in really bad state and many monuments are ignored and neglected without a record.

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Loot by thieves in search of treasure in ancient monuments is not new, here is an epic example of it.It is heart wrenching for any heritage lover to see such old monuments in this vulnerable state. Please share this post to the maximum,and let government act and preserve our roots and heritage.

#Heritageisourpride #Heritagemustbepreserved

Location: Location of the Mandal:- #Kalakada Mandal is located on N.H-18,towards North of #Chittoor, which is 90 K.Ms from District head quarters.

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References:

  1. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/13th-century-temple-a-picture-of-neglect/article6795604.ece
  2. http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/110117/hyderabad-thieves-looting-antiques-without-any-fear-of-law.html
  3. http://www.chikalakabp.appr.gov.in/home/-/asset_publisher/QOkpuc6kj83c/content/about-kalakada/pop_up?_101_INSTANCE_QOkpuc6kj83c_viewMode=print
  4. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/200-year-old-temple-cries-for-attention/article16546761.ece

Spandana also runs the GloriousIndianPast and NeglectedMonuments Blogs.

Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of the Andhra Cultural Portal. The Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content, herein.

Crafts: Cheriyala Paintings

cheriyalaladies

From the world of High Culture and refined Dance, we move on to the land of popular and provincial culture. Along with the Marga, we celebrate the Desi (pun intended)to connect with our roots.

Continuing our Series on Arts & Crafts , is the native ancient style of scroll painting in young Telangana State: Cheriyala.

History

CHERIYAL MAP

Originating in and concentrated around the village of Cheriyala in Warangal District, this craft grew in the heart of modern Telangana state. The rural agglomeration is located 93 kms outside the main city of the District, and is accessible by road or train.

cheriyalbalaji

At present, the dating for the technique and style is uncertain. What is known is that it is at least 500 years old (but very possibly much older). In fact…

Scroll painting is one of the ancient expressions in Telangana and dates back to Kakatiya dynasty. The genre of this painting displays the traces of the Kakatiya style of painting, seen in the 12th century wall paintings of Pillalamarri temple and hill temple of Tripurantakam. [8]

In the Pratapa Charitram, Ekamranatha notes that there were 1500 painters around Warangal.

Of late, appropriation of the traditional arts and culture of the region is being conducted by those who seem to think all things of value came from foreigners, including Cheriyala. That is the importance of this genre of painting being associated with the Kakatiyas whose rule began almost 1000 years ago (ante-dating the estimate of 500 years).

Techniques and styles and even methods may actually descend from the ancient Indic style of Pattachitra, which is still practiced in Odisha today, and was renamed as Kalamkari in the Telugu states, during the medieval period. The names may be new: Mahboobabad for Palamooru, Nizamabad for Induru,  Bhongir for Bhuvanagiri, and Kalamkari for Pattachitra, but the origins are native, as was the original fort of Gollakonda. Like Madhubhani of Bihar, and the popular art of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, these styles represent the desi  (provincial) traditions and approaches to art that date back millennia.

Historically, these painted scrolls of Cheriyala were shown to audience members while ministrels sung the genealogies of 7 local communities/castes. These were as follows: “Jaamba puraanam is performed for Maadigas by Dakkali sub caste; the Bhaavanaa Rishi and Markandeeya puraanam is performed for Padmasaalis by Kuunapuli sub caste; the madeel puraanam is shown for chakalivaallu by patamvaaru sub caste; the Gauda puraanam is performed for Gauds by Gaudajetti caste; Paandavula Katha is performed for Mudiraajs by Kaakipadagala sub caste; Addam puranam is for Mangalivaallu by addam varu; Kaatama Raju Katha is performed for Gollavallu by Mandechchuloollu. Instead of scrolls, performers in this Kaatamaraju performance use 53 dolls made by Nakashi artists“. [8]

As such, scenes from the Puranas are commonly ceremonialised in this rustic style of popular artwork. Similar, vibrantly coloured paintings can be found in Telangana’s interior (i.e. countryside Temples) even today.

Cherial paintings or scroll paintings are used by a community known as ‘kaki padagollu’ that uses this medium as a visual aid to narrate stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. [9]

Characteristics

doodoobasavanna
Doo doo Basavanna

There are in fact two crafts associated with Cheriyala. The first is the more famous scroll paintings. The second are wooden dolls and masks.

Despite being scroll paintings made of traditional materials, each one is said to last for over 150 years.

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The main attraction of cheriyala scroll paintings is that it is made from all natural materials, and therefore, good for the environment (as well as the heritage workers depending on the craft). The colours are very striking, and are made from water-based and earth-based ingredients.

The powder of a stone called ‘inglikum’ elevates the background in bright red colour, pevudi yellow shades, unique ‘zink white’ is used to depict pearl like ornamentations and the thick Indigo blue colours are used across the paintings making these picturesque frames theatrical representations of life. [8]

Due to the speed at which they can be created, the Cheriyala Scroll painting is a traditional Storyteller’s dream, and is used for that purpose.

Process

The canvas is made from  khadi cloth. On this, coating consisting of “a mixture of tamarind seed powder, white clay, and rice starch is applied thrice to make it stiff“. [4]

After the first coating dries, a second one is added. Gum water is also used.

Brushes made from squirrel hair are used to paint the subject proper. This results in very precise outlining that enhances the vibrancy and redolence of the artwork.

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As for the wooden articles, the bommas (dolls) and masks are made from sawdust, tamarind and timber. Coconut shells are also used. Similar coating is then applied.

Future

Despite the ancient history of this lovely pastoral paintings, the future is not as a bright as it should be. Although a Geographical Indicator was given to Cheriyala in 2007, the passing on of its legacy remains uncertain. To maintain an age-old art takes not only time and dedication but also patronage and popularisation. Along with traditional technique, modern marketing methods may be needed to create a demand for such supply and maintain livelihoods for such committed artisans.

Please give your patronage to these wonderful artists who preserve an integral folk tradition. We have showcased artwork from the artist run sites, who can be reached here.

It is not enough to demand government action in everything. Civil society and the people at large must back up talk with action and support the livelihood of these bearers of tradition, with whatever little they can afford to spend.

haridasucheriyal
Haridasus

Click here and buy today!

Depicting one scene in the small scrolls cost about Rs. 500, but the price increases with greater intricacy. For storytellers, the price is quoted per metre of work.“[4]

For a small investment, the livelihood of the traditional preservers of an organic art can be secured. Stories are told not only by cinema or podcast, but by the arts and the crafts. The heritage of a people is based not only in museums and art galleries, but also in the villages and huts of rural India. It is here that the beating heart of the people and their popular culture is protected and passed on for the next generation.

References:

  1. http://www.craftscouncilofindia.org/craft-process/hand-painting/
  2. http://cheriyalpaintings.blogspot.com/2016_01_01_archive.html
  3. http://www.thehindu.com/arts/crafts/scrolls-of-stories/article4098074.ece
  4. http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/art/curator-of-a-tradition/article5138515.ece
  5. http://www.warangalonline.in/city-guide/cheriyal-scroll-paintings
  6. http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/mp/2004/05/20/stories/2004052001190300.htm
  7. http://cheriyalpaintings.blogspot.com/2014_07_01_archive.html
  8. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/cheriyal-the-pride-of-telangana/article6596306.ece
  9. http://lepakshihandicrafts.gov.in/cherialscrollpainting.html#

Crafts: Budithi

budithi

Budithi brassware is one of the unique metalworks coming out of the Coastal Andhra region (Kosta) of Andhra Pradesh.

The sheen and quality of this craft is apparent at first glance. Used for a variety of purposes, it is a must have for any AP household, and the feature this week in our continuing review of the Handicrafts of Andhra.

History

643px-Andhra_Pradesh_district_location_map_Srikakulam.svgBudithivillage

This native craft of Kosta originates in a small village called Budithi in Central Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh. The municipality is located 40 km outside the district’s eponymous city.

The history of brass and bronze casting and metal working is an ancient one, particularly in the old Andhra desa. Its use may date back to the era of swords and shields, but its application extended to even gun metal in recent centuries past.

It received a GI (Geographical Indicator) tag, per the related Act in 1999, and is therefore a unique and much prized craft in the international market of decorative metal ware. [5]

Characteristics

Budithi is known by the beautiful figures are created out of metal alloys. They are crafted in both traditional and modern styles.

These alloys are typically made of brass and feature a variety of geometric and floral patterns. They are simple yet striking. They are used for a variety of purposes from decorative art to flower pots to even prized cooking utensils.

Pots and jugs in particular are famous for their elegantly lean necks. The mouth of jars are also distinctive, and bell metal has also been used to make polished mirrors.

Black and gold rings are the unique features of the product. Locally available, non-toxic black powder is the base for the effect. This produces a beautiful look and finish in the process.

Process

Budithi Handicrafts Designs

While the traditional process for bronze-casting and brassware manufacturing is fairly standard, what sets Budithi apart is the craftsmanship and specific regional touch. Most notably, locally available natural resources are used to produce a tell-tale black coating.

The beauty of this is unlike modern industrial chemical-based manufacture, the special black powder used for the coating is non-toxic. This is another Unique Selling Point of the product.

Future

budithibox

Budithi is Kosta’s counterpart to Telangana’s Pembarthi. As a traditional metal craft, it has a standing reputation for splendid brassware. Items such as jars, mirrors, bells, and even utensils have made it an art with wide applicability.

Ostensibly, arts and crafts will have to adapt to the present time and shifting tastes. More modern fashions necessitate the marketing know-how to adapt and properly influence artisans to the meet consumer demand. But with the right business mind and patron, or a community-based effort, Budithi can again make its name in the international marketplace.

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Irregular power supply  in recent years and difficulty in getting products to market at present have put workers dedicated to this craft in dire straits. They themselves have complained of lack of government support and of distribution channel difficulties.

A familiar tale by now, the younger generation sees no prosperous future in this industry and is sadly leaving the village, along with generations of tradition. Once 400 families maintained this handicraft, but now that number is down to an estimated 30 families. [9] So start today, and give patronage to these great artisans of your home state.

References:

  1. http://www.aptourism.gov.in/index.php/k2-separator/k2/item/274-budithibrassware.html#.VsNAQr-uAk8
  2. http://www.onlytravelguide.com/andhra-pradesh/arts-crafts/budithi-brassware.php
  3. http://www.discoveredindia.com/andhra-pradesh/culture-in-andhra-pradesh/handicrafts-art-and-craft-in-andhra-pradesh/budithi-brassware.htm
  4. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/traditional-crafts-attract-delegates/article354303.ece
  5. http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Hans/2016-01-23/Geographical-Indication/201919
  6. http://srikakulamgeneralinfo.blogspot.com/2009/10/budithi-handicrafts.html
  7. http://www.slideshare.net/naveenkumargattupalli/geographical-indications-of-andhrapradesh
  8. http://www.craftrevival.org/CraftArt.asp?CountryCode=india&CraftCode=000253
  9. http://www.indiantravelportal.com/andhra-pradesh/arts-crafts/budithi.html
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy-8pKQ3U6A

Crafts: Etikoppaka

etikoppaka

Today’s topic is one of the unique crafts from Visakhapatnam District and is known for its beautiful lacquer work, woodwork, and toys all under the title of its village of origin: Etikoppaka.

With another one of those uniquely Telugu names, Etikoppaka is a recognised brand, its own GI tag, and this week’s installment in our continuing Series on Arts & Crafts of Andhra.

History

Etikoppaka.8

Etikoppaka in Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh, is one of the most important centres of lacquerware. Meaning Koppaka on the stream, the village grew up around the waters of the river Eru (also known as Varaaha). It is named after Koppa Raja Narayana of the Eastern Chalukya dynasty branch based around Elamanchili. The area also has an ancient Buddhist mercantile heritage. With over 12,000 people, it is predominantly a farming community. Nevertheless, there are an estimated 250 families who specialise as artisans.

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The picturesque village of Etikoppaka provides an ideal stop for tourists and prospective entrepreneurs alike. Located some 65 km outside of beautiful Vizag, it is a stone’s throw away from AP’s commercial capital.

Appealing for its beautiful finish on wood and weave alike, rather than merely limiting this craft to toys, one should note that lacquer’s applications are numerous. From decorative household artwork to lovely lacquer bangles, Etikoppaka in particular offers a standout addition to the home or person of fashionable types.

Known as “the toy village”, Etikoppaka bommalu are brand of its own. The toy industry itself is largely derived from the neighbouring village of Nakkapalli (originally–and more appropriately– Laccapalli).

Lac

Lac industry appears to have flourished in the erstwhile combined state of Andhra, going by the number of villages carrying the name ‘Lakkavaram’, or ‘Lakkavarapukota,’ spread all through the state, in the districts of Visakhpatnam, Vijayanagaram, Prakasam, East and West Godavari, and Warangal. [3]

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Lac is the most notable characteristic of the method. This word for a particular kind of wax originates in the Sanskrit word laksha, which featured prominently in the infamous lakshagriha episode of the Mahabharata.

Characteristics

India_Toy_Kitchen_Set

In a world polluted by plastic toys, the non-toxic vegetable dyes of the Etikoppaka offer an alternative. Using a soft wood, these products are then fashioned to perfection with objects varying from beads and earrings to candle stands and vermillion boxes.

The EU contributed to the drop in the industry with its commercial review of the product, which questioned the safety of the resins and dyes. Nevertheless, through the patronage and commitment of C.V. Raju, local landlord and artisan himself, a temporary revival in fortunes was seen.

He resolved to ensure that safety and non-toxic certification would not be an impediment to marketing this lovely handicraft. He experimented with various dyes and natural processes. He innovated by using organic dyes from the handloom industry in place of chemical dyes, which had come into fashion. In the process, he identified a number of natural and specifically vegetable dyes that could surmount any objection, and offered a range of colours such as ochre, olive, turquoise, and indigo blue.

Process

The Tharini, or turned wood lacquer, process is used to prepare these exquisite examples of Andhra craftwork.

First, a fine grain softwood, such as ankudu, is first collected then left out to dry in the hills. This makes for a picturesque view amid the panorama of the Eastern Ghats.

Lac sticks are used to lacquer up the items. Lac is a non-violent process that uses secretions of insect pupae on wood as a wax. The insect itself later leaves alive and well, and the resulting lac stick is then used to embalm the wood.

Clear lac can also be produced from crushed lac sticks tied to a cloth and dipped in hot water. This can then be  oxidised with natural vegetable colour and then applied to a carved wood piece turning on a lathe.

Performed either by lathe, machine, or hand, lacquer work is an intensive but rewarding process.

The oxidised lacquer is given a beautiful flair with mogali reku (kevda leaf).

Future

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The subtle elegance and subdued yet vibrant colours of wholly organic dye make Etikoppaka lacquerware a promising commercial opportunity and a must-have for fashionable Andhra ladies, whether unmarried or a mother. Still very much a cottage industry, it is an artisan driven craft that could truly blossom under a cooperative armed with business insight.

Of late, applications have expanded across the board. That is why this unique craft of AP is not meant to be just limited to toys. In fact, intricate jewelry boxes, vases, stools, and even bottles are being made in all shapes and sizes using this polish.

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Modern e-retailers have already tossed their hats in their ring and have marketed the product as a mid-range luxury item. Whether for jewelry or for show or for young ones, it’s a treasure to treasure for a lifetime.

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Click here to Buy today!

The Koppaka handicrafts would have faded away, like many others of their ilk, had Raju not innovated. In today’s world, where cultures and societies are getting homogenised, it is the traditional handicrafts such as the Etikoppaka articles that lend an identity to a village and a sense of pride to its people. [3]

Etikoppaka lacquerware is a craft with great commercial potential. Not only does it present an opportunity for healthy margins from shrewd investors or a means of securing the livelihood of hundreds, possibly thousands, it provides yet another prong to revitalising Brand Andhra. Rather than buying Made in China, buy Made in Andhra. Make a buck while making a difference in the process and invest in the future of these artisans and your culture along the way.

References:

  1. http://www.onlytravelguide.com/andhra-pradesh/arts-crafts/lacquer-ware.php
  2. http://www.indiamart.com/etikoppaka/
  3. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/visakhapatnam/The-lac-industry-of-Etikoppaka-An-art-form-to-cherish/articleshow/50251973.cms
  4. http://www.discoveredindia.com/andhra-pradesh/culture-in-andhra-pradesh/handicrafts-art-and-craft-in-andhra-pradesh/etikoppaka-toys.htm
  5. http://www.coroflot.com/jaikishan/Etikoppaka-toys

Dance: Perini Thandava

PeriniThandava

While many of our classical temples and artforms have been preserved throughout the ages, many more have been lost to the ravages of time and the pages of history. And yet, through the steadfast and stubborn dedication of our cultural exemplars, some of these precious cultural gems have been revived. The rebirth of Telangana‘s heritage dance, Perini Siva Thandavam, is one such success story.

Perini Siva Thandava, or Perini, is the traditional dance of warriors before battle honoring Lord Siva. It had been mentioned by the great commentator Nandikesvara. The Kakatiyas were great bhaktas of Nataraja, and thus, the Perini art form attained its peak under them.

Historyperinishivathandavam

As with much of Telugu heritage, the story of Perini Siva Thandava begins with those very Saivite of Royals, the Kakatiyas.  The temples and tales they left behind tell of this legacy.

Ganapati Deva‘s  commander of the elephant corps, Jayana Nayak,  is said to have performed the dance before his army to boost morale. It therefore became a natural method to stimulate the warrior spirit.

With the fall and destruction of Warangal, however, the grand tradition of Perini Thandava was lost during the pillage and rapine of the Turkic invaders. It became all but extinct until 1974, when it again graced the stage for the first time in 800 years.

Padmi Shri Nataraja Ramakrishna is the guru of Natya who is responsible for reviving this artform. Ramakrishna would go on to revive not only Perini but Andhra Natyam as well. Fittingly, his mother was from Nalgonda district in Telangana and his father was from East Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. Though he was born in Indonesia, he soon returned to India.  Nataraja Ramakrishna was a student of Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam, and studied under Natyacharya Vedantam Lakshminarayana Sastri, the famous Kuchipudi exponent who opened the dance style up for women. Starting from 1971, Ramakrishna gaaru closely studied not only historical texts such as the treatise Nritta Ratnavali, but also the dance poses of the famous statues of the Ramappa Temple just outside of Warangal.

After decades of dedication, he was able to first write commentaries on the style before instructing students, ultimately nurturing the return of this great warrior dance.  [3] An exponent of Kuchipudi, intructor of Bharatanatyam, progenitor of Andhra Natyam, and reconstructor of Perini, he truly was a jewel of the Telugus.

Incidentally, Vempati Chinna Satyam, another student of Vedantam Sastri and an Andhra Ratna in his own right,  famously choreographed the Thandava dance for NTR in Narthanasala. Whether it was influenced by Nataraja Ramakrishna’s efforts in Perini is a question for Nataraja himself.

Either way, one can practically imagine Arjuna, even post-Brihannala, dance in Perini Thandava’s martial fury before entering the Kurukshetra.

Characteristics

periniposePerini takes its name from the Sanskrit word Prerana (“to inspire and invigourate”). Indeed, the rhythm and pace of the dance clearly achieves just that, no doubt one of the reasons why it was used by the famous Kakatiya general to inspire his troops.

There are in fact two varieties of Perini, one is Perini Siva Thandavam for men and the other is Perini Lasyam for women.

Classical dance has two styles, Margi and Desi.  Margi is more spiritual in nature, while Desi is more popular and dramatic in nature and theme. Though Perini officially belongs to the Desi class which became predominant in Telangana, even casual observance affirms its Saiva spiritual qualities. Indeed, Lord Siva is considered the Supreme Dancer, and one of the objectives of Perini is to bring the dancer closer to consciousness of him. Above all, Thandava itself is the name of the dance of destruction performed at the end of each Kalpa. While recent attempts to secularise the dance attempt to deny this link, the proof itself is in the name given by its reviver: Perini Siva Thandava.

In any event, the most immediately noticeable aspect of this dance is the rapid-fire tempo and execution of moves. It is easy to see why it was the virile dance of warriors. “An interesting aspect about this form is its Music. Use of Conch, Drums, Bells and [Rhythmic] Syllables change the atmosphere enabling dancers to reach a point of frenzy.” [4]

According to noted Perini exponent, Kalakrishna there are  five ‘angas’ of Perini:

Ghargaram (footwork), Vishamam (acrobatic), Bhavashrayam (imitation of nature, animals and demons), Kaivaram (in praise of kings and gods) and Geetam (music). [Nataraja Ramakrishna]reconstructed Ghargaram and Vishamam parts — the rest he could not because of paucity of funds and dancers willing to train). [2]

There has been some debate about whether Perini is a classical (saastriya) or colloquial (janapada) dance. However, even a casual observer of dance can see the redolence of traditional strictures  of classical dance and the principles of the ancients at play.  It is imbued with the rasas of Raudram (fury) and Veeram (valour). Indeed, the text on which it is primarily based (Nritta Ratnavali) and Natyacharya Nataraja Ramakrishna’s own training in Kuchipudi and revival of Andhranatyam only further weight the argument in favour of classical status. At present, due the reconstructed nature of both Andhranatyam and Perini, neither have received classical status from Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Future

Perini Siva Thandava is an important part of the heritage of traditional Telangana and one of its many contributions to the common Telugu culture. Whether for floats or future public investment, this great heritage artform must be given patronage at all levels of society: government, elite, and mass.

It is now considered the state dance of Telangana. Though traditionally associated with men, due to the martial associations and applications, scholars of Saastriya Natya have determined that Perini is also for girls. Perini Lasya was formed, and is now taught along side Thandava. Lasya refers to feminine grace while thandava refers to the vigourous male martial aspects. Irrespective, merely watching a performance of Perini is enough to inspire even the most Gandhian of pacificists to leap into battle! Truly, it is not only a dance of destruction for our enemies, but a spiritual experience for performers and audience alike.

While recent moves to revive it are indeed welcome, it will take the effort of local leaders and eminent citizens to ensure this traditional dance is preserved and passed on to the next generation.

Perini’s renaissance itself is not only a success story for the Arts of Ancient and Medieval Bharat, but serves as a case study for the Revival of Classical Indic Civilization.

References:

  1. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/moments-in-time/article4560141.ece
  2. http://www.ahmedabadmirror.com/others/sunday-read/Perini-Lost-and-found/articleshow/48127957.cms
  3. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/article2084870.ece?homepage=true
  4. http://web.archive.org/web/20091027175137/
  5. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-telangana/course-on-ts-dance-forms-introduced/article7840454.ece
  6. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/in-need-of-attention/article659855.ece
  7. http://www.exoticindiaart.com/book/details/andhranatyam-lasya-dance-tradition-of-andhras-rare-book-NAJ098/
  8. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/steps-to-revive-perini-shiva-thandavam/article7728823.ece
  9. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/perini-has-lasya-too/article6571706.ece
  10. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/article3231261.ece