Agama, Asthana & Prabandha Traditions

The Repertoire

Andhranatyam includes beautiful, delicate body movements with graceful gestures and slenderness of the Kaisiki Vritti, performed by the female artists. It has Agama, Asthana, and Prabandha styles in it. It is performed in Marga tradition in temples as prescribed in Agama sastras. With a tinge of the Desi tradition, it is performed in the classical style in temple asthanas and courts of kings called Kacheri, Darbar ata, etc. The prabandha style is famous for its classical regional rendition with lokadharmi.
Andhranatyam is a combination of Agama, Asthana, and prabandha traditions, which a female artiste can showcase on the same stage and in the same performance. It is an Eka Patra Kelika, i.e., a solo performance by a female artist. It has been designed and is being depicted as one of the earliest female-oriented dance traditions, with a well-knit repertoire to suit the modern theatre.
The distinct feature of Andhranatyam is the process that depicts the ancient tradition to suit the current stage. The repertoire contains the three traditions: Agama nartanam, Asthana nartanam, and Prabandha nartanam.

Performed in temples

In addition to the above items, the following items are also performed

1. Kauthams
2. Kaivarams
3. Ashtadikpalaka Aaradhana
4. Navasandhi
5. Adhyatma Ramayana Keerthanas, etc.

Performed in King's courts

In the Asthana sampradaya, selected items like Sabda, Swara, Sahithya Pallavis, Sabdam or salam jatis, Padavarnams, Padams, Javalis, Slokas, etc are performed. Asthana kelika in a temple is different from a kelika in the court of a king. According to the king’s taste, the former leads the audience towards spiritualism, whereas the latter is for entertainment for kings, scholars, intellectuals, and others. Saatvikabhinayam predominates in the depiction of Padam. Slokabhinayam is unique to the version of "Anvayam." Padyams are also performed as part of the repertoire.

Performed in public places

Kalapams are performed as part of the Prabandha nartanam. The kalapams are Bhamakalapam, Gollakalapam, Radhamadhavam, etc. In Nattuva Mela tradition, the Bhamakalapam was performed for nine nights outside the temple and called Navajanardhana Parijatham. Earlier it was performed for nine consecutive nights at Kunti Madhava Temple by Late Pendyela Satyabhama and artists from the same family of Pithapuram.
Navajanardana Parijatam is a unique subject included for its distinct nature of presentation in the Prabandha part.