Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Andhra Pradesh


Veethi Bhagavatam

Veethi Bhagavatam is a solo performance that originated from Kuchipudi  tradition. The masters of Kuchipudi themselves thought of this new type and it evolved  through women -artistes of courtesan families (Kalavantula) who were proficient in the solo dance -art  of the Nautch. The Kuchipudi tradition did not permit women to play female roles in its Bhagavata stories and the Nautch had its own repertoire of detached pieces and love songs. By crossing the  features of these two, the form named Veethi Bhagavata or Gollakalapa was developed. The Veethi Bhagavata is performed during temple festivals, on occasions of marriage and other happy celebrations in the houses of rich patrons.

The Veethi Bhagavata has a single female artists, the main dancer, she supported by a secondary female artistes. The role of Vidhushaka is used to entertain and put across humour effectively in the play. He also add vehicle of wisdom. He is versatile and multi purpose character, the constant companion of the lady and also her chorist. It is its dialogue or argument in which the chief lady, representing a milkmaid (Golla), carries on with the Brahmin, that provides the Kalapam. She cross- examines the Brahmin as to his real Brahmin hood and expatiates on what a real Brahmin is according to the Sastras and under the torrent  of her questions and Sanskrit quotation from the sastras, the poor Brahmin is left breathless. 

The performance begins as with any traditional dance-drama. A curtain  is held by two stage-hands and the main character performs behind it, her dance to the entrance song as sung by the chorus. The classic ragas of the Karnatik music are used in the songs, the Mridangam supplies the rhythmic accompaniment Jatis are orally recited and intricate rhythm patterns give the dancers footwork sufficient scope for artistry. She interprets the theme in the songs closely through Abhinaya.