Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Bharata Natyam

The reason why I started loving dance, the reason why I have been passionate towards dance, moreover, the reason why I blog is "Bharata Natyam". The first time I heard about "Bharata Natyam" was in 2000 when I was in my first grade. I enrolled myself for dance during the hobby class hours which is twice a week, if I am not wrong, on Tuesday and Saturday. Thanks to my first Bharata Natyam teacher, Mrs.Chandra Prabha, I was slowly and steadily getting skilled. It is only beacause of her that I remember the names of all "Adavus", Samyuta hasthas and Asamyuta hasthas vivdly.


  • Tatta adavu
  • Kuditta adavu
  • Natta adavu
  • Tatti Mettadavu
  • Kuditta Mettadavu
  • Mandi adavu

Asamyuta hasthas (single handed gestures)

  • Pathaka
  • Tripathaka
  • Arthapathaka
  • Karthari mukha
  • Mayura
  • Arthachandra
  • Aarala
  • Shugathunda
  • Mushti 
  • Shikara
  • Kabitha
  • Kadaka muga
  • Suchi
  • Chandrakhala
  • Padmakosa
  • Sarpasirisa
  • Mirugasirisa
  • Simhamukha
  • Alapadma

Samyuta hasthas (double handed gestures)

  • Anjali
  • Kabotha
  • Karkata
  • Dola
  • Swastikha
  • Pushpaputa
  • Utsanga
  • Shivalinga
  • Kadakavarthana
  • Kaatari Swastikha
  • Shakata
  • Changu & Chakarram
  • Samputa
  • Matsya
  • Kurma
  • Varaha
  • Garuda

Etymology of Bharata Natyam (as defined by Wikipedia and my dance teacher, Mrs.Chandra Prabha)

                   "Bhavam, Raagam, Thaalam aagiya moondrum serndhu seiyum naatiyathirku Bhatata Natyam endru peyar" which actually means, "Bharata Natyam is the combination of Bhavam(expression), Raagam(music), Thaalam(rhythm)".

She also taught me all the neck, head and eye movements. During my sixth and seventh grade, I learnt Bharatanatyam from a new teacher Mrs.Lalitha. I continued learning dance till my 7th standard but couldn't continue due to the lack of time and hence couldn't perform the arangetram.

Bharata Natyam is considered to be a fire-dance — the mystic manifestation of the metaphysical element of fire in the human body. It is one of the five major styles (one for each element) that include Odissi (element of water), Kuchipudi (element of earth), Mohiniattam (element of air) and Kathakali (element of sky or aether). The movements of an authentic Bharata Natyam dancer resemble the movements of a dancing flame.

Lord Natraja

Lord Shiva, "Natrajar" is considered to be the god for Bharatanatyam. Bharata Natyam is known for its grace, purity and tenderness. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.


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