One of the things I will be studying at the University is dance.
Kuchipudi is an ancient dance from Andhra Pradesh and is very popular in southern India. Kuchipudi is functions as a dance drama:
“The performance usually begins with some stage rites, after which each of the character comes on to the stage and introduces him/herself with a dharavu (a small composition of both song and dance) to introduce the identity, set the mood, of the character in the drama. The drama then begins. The dance is accompanied by song which is typically Carnatic music. The singer is accompanied by mridangam (a classical South Indian percussion instrument), violin, flute and the tambura (a drone instrument with strings which are plucked). Ornaments worn by the artists are generally made of a light weight wood called Boorugu.” (http://www.aptourism.in/index.php/k2-separator/k2/item/429-kuchipudi)
I am excited to study this form of dance and bring my experiences back to the Wesleyan campus!
In October this article, Ancient Farmers’ Dances Threatened with Extinction, was released on India Ink, explaining how ancient dance forms are dying in India. How terrible! It confirmed to me that the performing arts are not just struggling in America, but worldwide.