Session 42- Introduction to Panchanadai/ Thattimettadavu

If you did watch the previous video carefully, you would have observed a few variations in beats while performing the nattadavu. This is referred to as a varaiation in nadai.

Nadai (meaning gait) refers to the rhythmic flow of the composition. Carnatic Music upon which Bharathanatyam is based, recognizes 5 basic nadais( Pancha nadais). Hence this adavu is also referred to as Pancha Nadai.

The Panchanadais their nomenclature, number of beats and sollukattu are as follows:-

  • Chatushram– 4 beats-Tha-ka-dhi-mi
  • Tisram-3beats-ta-ki-ta.
  • Misram(Putting a Chatushram and Tisram together)-7beats(4+3)-Ta-ka-dhi-mi-ta-ki-ta
  • Kantam-5 beats-ta-ka-ta-ki-ta.
  • Sankeernam (putting a chatushram and kantam together)-9 beats-Ta-ka-dhi-mi-ta-ka-ta-ki-ta.

Each nadai has its own flow that can be harnessed to potray a particular mood or feel. These adavus are usually used as a wrap up portion of the end of sahitya (lyrics) portions in the varnam to enhance and emphasize the tempo and rhythmmic content. This is referred to as Thattimetti. (Thaati-means to tap, metti- means to hit the floor with the heel while being rooted on the toes ). During the thattimetti , the dancer uses hand gestures and facial abhinaya to convey the meaning of the lyrics and simultaneously performs the relevant tattimettu (or an intricate combination). This requires a lot of concentartion and dexterity.

Let us look at a tattimetti that occurs in a video featured in You Tube…

Watch this

In this clip the dancer performs a varnam . While for the first 20 seconds she mimes the songs out with gestures, you can see her perform the tattimetti from the 20 second onwards..(till around the 3oth sec or so). You may notice that the thattimetti performed in this particular clipping is set to 4 beat/chatushram.

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