Traditionally, Kuchipudi was an exclusive domain of a group of Vaidiki Brahmin families having sixteen different surnames. The surnames are Bhagavatula, Bokka, Darbha, Eleswarapu, Hari, Josyula, Mahankali, Pasumarti, Peddibhatla, Polepeddi, Vallabhajosyula, Vedantam, Vempati, Vemu and Venukunti.
(Anuradha Jonnalagadda in '60 years of Kuchipudi,' Nartanam Feb - April 2008)
The most revered text in Indian performing arts is the Natya Sastra. The period given to the text varies from 200 BC to 200 AD and the geographical location is debated among scholars, with some believing that it was written in Kashmir but some do believe that it could be somewhere in the southern part of what is India today. The word Bharata is not only a name but also means an actor; therefore some scholars believe that the Natya Sastra was not authored by one individual but is a work of many actors and evolved through centuries.
(TM Krishna in 'December ragas,' The Hindu Magazine, Dec 12, 2010)
Vedantam Parvatisam wrote songs on Pandit Nehru and Darbha Venkateswarulu adopted the Yakshagana structure of Kuchipudi to contemporary issues to produce 'Hitler Patanam' (The fall of Hitler) in 1946 and 'Simla Bhagavatam' (The farce of the Simla summit) in 1947, for the regional branch of IPTA, Andhra Praja Natyamandali.
(Anuradha Jonnalagadda in '60 years of Kuchipudi,' Nartanam Feb - April 2008)
Snippets - Monthwise listing