The Natya Shastra, an ancient text on dance and drama, written by Bharata Muni has mentioned four styles of classical dance prevalent in different parts of India; they are Avanti, Daksinatya, Panchali, and Audra Magadhi. Audra here refers to Odisha. Another text Abhinay Chandrika, stated that there were schools of dancing in India; one amongst them was Audra belonging to Odisha.
[That was the beginning of the 60s]. In those days, Sangeet Natak Akadem conferences deemed only four Indian styles as classical dances, and Kuchipudi was not one of them. Owing to the profusion of dance masters who were Kuchipudi trained, Kuchipudi was termed as a "filmy dance" or Koothu . However, in the 1958 Natya Kala Conference under the leadership of Banda Kanakalingeswara Rao, Vissa Appa Rao and others, Kuchipudi was just beginning to get some amount of recognition.
Natya Shastra was the root for both Bharata Natyam and Kathak, and both are of the same period. Kathak, which flourished in the North , was in the direct eye of the typhoon of invasions.