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Perini Dance : A Unique & Captivating Telugu Dance Form

Perini Dance : Also Known as Perini Sivathandavam ,An ancient Telugu dance form that originated in the region of Warangal, during the reign of the Kakatiya dynasty. It is often called the “Warrior’s Dance” because warriors would perform this dance with great devotion before going into battle, as an offering to Lord Shiva.

The art of Perini dance flourished during the time of the Kakatiyas but gradually declined towards the end of their era. It was revived and brought back into the limelight by Acharya Nataraja Ramakrishna, who is considered the father of Andhra dance.

Perini dance has two main variations Perini Tandava, performed by men, and Perini Lasyam, performed by women. Perini Tandava is a powerful and heroic dance showcasing a man’s masculine energy and strength of a man. It is a dance form that portrays the essence of Lord Shiva’s cosmic dance, known as the Tandava.

Perini Dance During Kakatiya Period

During the Kakatiya period, dance and worship were closely intertwined. Lord Shiva was worshipped through various dance forms, including Perini, which was performed in dedicated dance halls opposite the main deity (MoolaVirattu). These dances were often accompanied by music and performed by cowherds.

One of the beliefs associated with Perini dance is that Lord Shiva possesses the dancers during the performance. Dancers who engage in the dance form feel a deep connection with Lord Shiva and express their devotion through their passionate movements. They consider themselves vessels through which Lord Shiva’s sacred dance is performed and shared with the world.

Before starting a Perini dance performance, dancers often invoke Lord Shiva’s blessings and power. They seek his presence within themselves, asking for strength and sanctity in their bodies to perform the sacred dance form. The Melavimpu, or the opening invocation, is a crucial element where dancers call upon Lord Shiva’s divine energy to guide them throughout the performance.

Perini dance is a unique and captivating art form that showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Telugu people and their devotion to Lord Shiva. It combines grace, power, and spirituality, making it an enchanting experience for both performers and spectators.

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