Perini Shivatandavam Folk Dance, Telangana

One of the ancient dance forms of Telengana, a state in India, is Perini Shivatandavam or Perini Tandavam. This extravagant dance form originated and flourished during the Kakatiya Dynasty who ruled over the region or Warangal for about two centuries. With the downfall of the dynasty, Perini Shivatandavam lost its importance and was on the verge of extinction. Fortunately, Padmasri awardee Late Dr.Nataraja Ramakrishna revived the art form recently.

Perini Shivatandavam is the ‘dance of the warriors’ performed by the males. The warriors performed this vigorous dance in front of the idol of Lord Shiva, dedicating to the Supreme dancer before going to the battlefield. It was believed that Perini Shivatandavam raises ‘prerana’ or inspiration among the soldiers. Evidence of this dance form can be viewed on the walls and pillars of the Ramappa Temple in Warangal where sculptures of various postures of Perini Shivatandavam dance are still intact. The enchanting forgotten dance form was resurrected from extinction and was showcased in the first Telegu Mahasabha by three disciples of Dr.Nataraja Ramakrishna in 1975. Perini Shivatandavam is enacted on the loud roaring beats of the drums, matching the postures with its rhythm. Dancers perform while feeling the power of their muse, Lord Shiva inside their body. A training programme has been set up by SRR Government Art and Science College in Karimnagar for the interested students in order to preserve this ancient dance form. Students get training on Perini Shivatandavam along with Perini Lasyam, a derivative of the same for the girls.

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