In the area of dance, Harikatha is integral to the development of new forms and formats. For instance, the idea of a dance-drama stems from the Harikatha. The Yaksha Gaanam (a dance-theatre form from Karnataka) intersperses music, dance and narration of stories. The only difference between the Harikatha and the Yaksha Gaanam is that in the former, a single
person narrates the story, interprets it as well as sings and dances along, whereas in the latter, there are different performers to perform different aspects. Similarly, Bhagavatha Mela is another classical dance-theatre format. The texts narrated are usually in Telugu. Narayana Teertha began this tradition and composed two dance-dramas - Parijathapaharanam and Rukmangada Charitram. This practice was taken forward by one of
his disciples, Gopal Krishna Shastri who composed several such dancedramas like Dhruva Charitram, Sita Kalyanam andRukmini Kalyanam. His son Venkatarama Shastri, who was well-versed with Bharatanatyam, Telugu and Sanskrit, in turn took this legacy forward. He wrote more than 12 dance-theatre pieces including Prahlada, Harishchandra, Markandeya,
Ushaparinayam, Shivaratri Vaibhavam and Vipra Narayanan.