Session22- Mardhita Step 8

Lets look at the last variation in Mardhita/Paraval . This step involves the movement in the form of the alphabet “V”.

The hastas used include the katakamukham, alapadmam and dola.

The notable feet positions and movements include : Araimandi,Kudittu position, agratala sancharam, naatu, thaditham and chankramanam Chari. We have studied all these in earlier sessions.

Let’s watch the animation…

Now for the analysis of the movement flow

Start Position: Aramandi with the right hand in Katkamukham at the chest and left hand in dola

  • Ta: Jump on toes in Kudhittu position in the start position
  • Tai :
    • The right feet is placed in naatu/anjitham slightly to the right in a diagonal fashion. After a firm placement of the heels the toes follow in a quiet taditham. The Chakramanam chari is used and so the student needs to fold at his/her knees to while doing this step.
    • The right hand is stretched down in uttanam alapadmam, parallel to the right stretched feet and hence begins moving upwards.
    • The torso bends at the waist to enable the hands to reach the floor.
  • Tai:
    • Now the left leg is placed in naatu crossing over the right, make the movement more pronounced to the right. (Chakramanam chari)
    • The right hand moves a little higher , say at around the shoulder level.
    • The torso now follows the movement of the right hand.
  • Ta:
    • Now stretch the right leg flat on the floor towards your right corner. The left feet does not move, but is flexed to lift up the heels, being rooted to the floor on toes.
    • The right hand is stretched above to the front,at an angle of 45 degrees to the shoulder.
    • The waist stretches in proportion to the stretch of the right hand.
    • look at your stretched katakamukham

From then on we move back wards to our start position for 4 counts:

  • Di :

    • Jump in kudhittu positon bringing the left leg front in line with the right. Please make sure this movement is in araimandi.
    • Hands as in previous position
    • Torso straightened.
  • Tai:
    • Now start walking backwards with the left feet, placing the toes first and then the heel
    • The right hand now starts reversing the upward curve it started during the last 4 counts. the hand is now brought down in uttana alapadmam, stretched at say slightly above the shoulderline and continues it descent downwards.
  • Tai:
    • The right feet is then placed behing the left (on its toes).
    • The right hand is stretched down in aplapadmam
    • The waist bends forward to enable the hand to reach the floor.
  • Ta:
    • Now the left leg is brought back and tapped in line with the right and the student sits is aramandi.
    • The right hand is bent at the elbow and placed in katakamukham in front of the chest.

    Once this is completed, change your left hands into katakamukham at chest levels, and the right into a dola.

  • For the next 8 counts, mirror the movement in left. Pictures will be provided shortly to enhance understanding.

Let’s try practicing with the audio

Training/Learning Tip

You could learn this step easily by saying

  • For Right side:
  • Jump, R, L, stretch
  • Jump , L, R, Sit
  • For Left Side
  • Jump, L, R, Stretch,
  • Jump , R, L, Sit
  • Mardhita/Paraval adavu is a set of adavus that lend itself to a lot of creativity, hence you would notice a lot of variation in this set among the different Bharathanatyam styles(or Pani as it is termed) and even within a style.

    Here is link of the paraval adavu in Kalakshetra style, from the instruction video by Jayalakshmi Eshwar featured on the You Tube.


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