Session 1- The Salutation

Salutation/ Pranam

The salutation in Bharathanatyam is called Thatti Kumudu (to tap and salute). The ancient practice of performing the salutation before and after dancing is observed in all parts of India.

1.The salutation is done by tapping the right followed by the left feet in samapada (feet together) with the *shikara hasta in both hands, in front of the chest.Tattikumudu

2.The practitioner then turns out her toes ,sits in full mandi and brings the hands (in *shikhara hasta ) from the shoulders (Ref Fig. alongside), touches the floor in Pathakam and raises the palms to her eyes, paying her respects to Mother Earth.

3. Then he/she performs the three namaskars:-

On top of the head- To salute the God

In front of the forehead- to salute the Guru

In front of the chest- to salute the audience

It is also a pratice to to pay respects to the thattukazhi ( rhythm block and stick) or the cymbals the teacher holds.


16 Responses

  1. Wow! its really nice that to see this site. I would like to try myself. I love bharatnatyam, but did not get a chance to learn. Very well done!!. Hope to see many more sessions like this.
    Good Luck!!!

  2. Thanks for your compliments Padma. A warm welcome to our world of Bharathanatyam.

  3. Hi,
    I am very glad to find this site. My children are learning Bharathanatyam in London with a Teacher once a week. But these vidio clips will help to practice at home and learn more about every steps themselves. They are small so they will learn about theory little by little also.
    Thank you very much for help other to learn Bharatham.

    Hi Usha,
    It is indeed a pleasure if the site assists your kids in learning the art form. Thanks for letting us know. As for theory, I am not sure how old you kids are… I usually dont recommend students to start before 6 yrs of age for health reasons. At this stage, the flexibility exercises, the posture maintenance are important and more than anything it is important to make them enjoy the art form . I am aware that the ISTD of UK has a great syllabus for kids. For kids from 6-8 yrs of age, teaching the names of 4-6 hastas at a particular session would suffice. But repetition of the names and slokas is essential to reinforce learning and commit them to memory.
    Best wishes,

  4. Dear ma’am,

    Please let me know how to follow the sessions. Are the sessions linked anywhere, by which one session follows the next ?

    Kindly advice.

    Anusha Palvannan

    Dear Anusha,
    I have planned the sequence progressively.. So you could follow them sequentially. for eg session 42 would come before session 43 etc. But general information isnt included in sessions, but are there to enhance learning..

  5. Hello,
    So i have been looking through your website and i absolutely LOVE it. i studied bharatanatyam first during my second year at college then furthered my studies for a month in india. this is a wonderful website to keep the steps fresh in my mind. Currently i am writing a paper about bharatanatyam and i have a question. How does someone become a teacher for bharatanatyam?
    once again love the site. i have it bookmarked so i can practice for the next time i travel back to india

    thank you
    patricia robinson

  6. Lol Patricia, Thanks for your comment…

    Well as to how some one becomes a teacher… That indeed is hard to answer…
    Well traditionally, people train for years(around 7yrs) basically to become a performer.. they have their stage debut (The arangetram). Well after that, the inclined and the ones the Gurus consider as befitting are trained to take classes and learn the art of nattuvangam….(conducting a dance performance)

    Today it is more like passionate dancers take up a course in nattuvangum and may start up a class.

    Currently a few dancers with some basic exposure to the artform and rudimentary knowledge also want to pass off as Gurus.. (or we wouldnt get to see all those appaling shows:)
    So take your pick!

  7. hi!

    I absolutely love this site! The theory you have provided helps me practice them at home quite easily. What can I say, just keep up the good work AND THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for starting this site.


    Thanks Iris…

  8. Hi,

    I am very much interested in learning bharathnatyam from my childhood but due to some family reason i could not go to the classess and i ever been but im interested in dance. Luckly i found this website and i please u to guide me in learning bharathnatyam from basic… And will be looking forward for your reply

    Lavanya Jayaraj

    Dear Lavanya,
    I am glad to hear of your interest. Pl. follow these lessons and feel free to come back with your queries and suggestions. Will be happy to help you!
    Best wishes,

  9. Hi,
    I am very glad to find this site. It´s Wonderful ! Iam from Brazil, and i love Bharathanatyam !


    Rachel Monteiro

  10. what happened to archive 2009?plzzz reply

  11. There isnt one Meenakshi. I am trying to get the work started again! Sorry for the inconvinience.


  12. hi!!
    your website is very detail and i guess its going to be helpful to me coz i intend to brush-up on my theory.
    i’ve been learning since the age of 5 and still continuing, now that i’m in uni.

    you mentioned that you’ve moved to KL. are you conducting any classes there? i’m from malaysia too.

    doing a great job. keep it going. tnx a bunch.

  13. Hi Meera,

    Glad to hear from you. Thanks for your kind words.
    I do not conduct classes here in Malaysia. I will contact you thro email and probably we could catch up for a chat sometime.

  14. Dear Sangeetha
    i m in my uni..mbbs ..n since childhood parents din allow me for dance except for 1 week in 3rd std where i learnt guru namaskaram or something like tht .
    n never since then got any knowledge..
    as im stil in uni n abroad wer i cant attend any practical class but free from parents..i would like to start fresh..
    please post a link where i should go from basics..
    please post such a link keeping in mind that i have 0% knowledge now..

    please please please i have 2 more yrs n want to know something on my own n thn take up classes wen i reach india..

    i wud b really grateful to u..


    You can start from session one here. You could look at the archives and start from the oldest posts. But unfortunately we havent completed the whole set of adavus.

    You can see added information from too, where Anjali teaches albeit in a different style.

    Regards and Best Wishes,

  15. dear madam,
    i got 41/2 yr old kid. im teaching bharatam following ur site. thank u .

    Dear meenambika,
    I am glad you find the webiste useful.

  16. My humble obeisances!! Namaste!
    I don’t have any words to say thank you to you!!!!! I live abroad, and have always wanted to learn this, i even joined up kathak dance classes, but could never attend work and uni and family . I am just so happy to see it here today for the first time. I guess if its alright with you i can call you my Guru, since any knowledge obtained in any form and manner can only come from a qualified Guru, so i accept your service with great appreciation. Please continue guiding us along the way.


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