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Perini Sivatandavam



This is a dance of warrior clans of 11th century AD. This is the majestic male dance form performed in Shiva Temples as an invocation to the Lord Rudra. The Kakatiya Rulers of the 11th century, Ganapathi Deva, Rani Rudrama Devi, Pratapa Rudra Deva of Warangal, were worshippers of Lord Shiva and patronised the warrior dance forms. After the fall of Kakatiyas, this art disappeared due to lack of patronage.


It was the Kakatiya Temples (1100 – 1300 AD) that inspired Guru Nataraja Ramakrishna to recreate "Perini Sivatandavam". A careful study of Nrittaratnavali of Jayapa Senapathi, a dance treatise written in Ganapathi Deva’s (1199 – 1261 AD) courts, and the sculptural representation on the thousand pillared temples and shrines at Ghanapur and Palampet in Warangal district provided valuable insights into a powerful and vigorous masculine dance style that was performed to inspire and invigorate warriors before going to the battle field.

This pure dance incorporates "Veera", "Raudra" rasas of Lord Shiva whose spirit is invoked by the dancers. This dance involves worship of the five elements (Prithvi, Jala, Teja, Vaayu, Aakasha) and celebrating the mystic "Om". An interesting aspect about this form is its Music. Use of Conch, Drums, Bells and Rhythmic Syllables change the atmosphere enabling dancers to reach a point of frenzy.

Perini Sivatandavam is the dance of the warriors. The dance derives its name from "prerana", which means inspiration. The warriors performed this dance before the idol of Lord Nataraja, as a mode of worship, before leaving for the battlefield with the motto of invoking Shiva to dance through them. The dance begins with Gargara and concludes with a Shiva Panchamukha Shabda Nartanam in praise of Lord Shiva.

The performers dance vigorously to the sound of laya from the beat of the drums. This continues till they feel the power of Shiva in their bodies and thus derive the inspiration. The dance thus can be said to be of both a spiritual and an artistic significance.

The dance was in vogue and was patronised in the reign of the kings of Kakatiya Dynasty in Warangal. This is well evident from the fine sculptures of this dance at the Ramappa temple in Palampet.






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