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The World of Koochipoodi Dance

Swapnasundari (Author)
Synopsis Koochipoodi enjoys prominence as one of Indian’s major classical dance styles. The process of its evolution from a group tradition to the solo form has been marked by significant events, some of which took place around the period of India’s Independence. Koochipoodi’s journey into the 21st century makes for a fascinating study. This book closely follows the journey and looks at the inter-relationship between Koochipoodi and its co-existent traditions. Through her well-researched work, the author seeks to familiarize the reader with various features of Koochipoodi while providing additional information about little known aspects of this tradition. She examines the nature of various contributions made to it as also its adaptation to individual artistic expression. Rather than present a compilation of specific details about the several gifted Koochipoodi exponents down the generations, she describes the blossoming of this form in their hands. A number of photographers have been involved with the preparation of much of the pictorial material featured in this book. Around 200 sumptuous photographs (173 in colour and 21 in black and white) have been included, most of which will be seen for the first time in a book. One more innovative and useful feature is the mention of the period or dates on which the photographs have been taken. This adds interest to the book. It is significant that one of the luminaries of Koochipoodi dance makes her debut as an author with this publication. The World of Koochipoodi Dance is perhaps one of the first books of this kind by a leading dancer on this subject.
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About the author


Swapnasundari finds creative expression in Koochipoodi, Bharatha Natyam, Vilasini Natyam, vocal music, choreography, music composition, teaching, writing and a host of related artistic activity. After a professional debut at the age of 15, she made significant artistic strides and was recognized as a torch-bearer amongst the generation of Indian classical dancers born in Post Independence India. While making successive contributions to her field she continued to earn acclaim for her performances at National and international for a. She has extended the frontiers of understanding of Andhra’s dance traditions by bringing to centrestage, the less known Koochipoodi and with pioneering work in the nearly obsolete temple and court dance tradition of Andhra which she has revitalized and recast as Vilasini Natyam. Her proficiency in music, understanding of poetry and literature, multi-lingual abilities and keen intellect are reflected both in performances and choreography. Swapnasundari is the founder-director of Kuchipudi Dance Centre Delhi. The only present day exponent to keep alive the practise of combining dance with singing and dialogues, she is also the first and only dancer to produce compact discs and audio cassettes of Koochipoodi music. In a significant acknowledgement of her scholarship and accomplishments, she has been honoured with the ‘Pratibha Puraskaaram’ by the Potti Sreeraamulu Telugu University, Hyderabad. She is a recipient of the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. Swapnasundai is the only solo female danseuse and teacher of Koochipoodi as well as its youngest exponent who is decorated with the prestigious honour of Padma Bhushan which she received from the President of India in the year 2003.

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Bibliographic information

Title The World of Koochipoodi Dance
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8182900220
length 188p., Figures; Col. & B/w Plates; Bibliography; 31cm.