Session 45- Chatushran, Tisram and Misram

 It was said in Session 42 that “Thaati-means to tap, metti- means to hit the floor with the heel while being rooted on the toes “. While the right feet  does the tattu and meetu, the left feet just does the mettu.(No Tapping involved here)

Common Features of the Thattumettu Adavu:-

While the Sollukattu for each of the Pancahanadai varies, the following are common to all of them

Sthanam: Araimandi. A few styles do with both feet in  Parshvagam(feet turned sideways and toes facing the sides, other styles have the right feet in samam,facing straight and the left in parshvagam)

Hastas: Right hand in Tamarachuda  held near the chin, left hand placed on the waist or hung out in a dola. Some styles also hold the hands above the head (suchi in one hand grasped with all the fingers in the other)

Foot Work:  involves the tapping (Thattu), Mettu (which is referred to as Udhgatitham in Natya Sahtra) and agratala sancharam(to strike the floor with the toes while the heels remain lifted)

Now lets us look at the first 3 Panchandais

Step 1

Chatushram: Ta- Ka- Dhi-Mi (4 beats).. Play audio

Beat/Foot work





Right Feet


Mettu (lift heel and then strike floor by bringing it down)

Left Feet

Mettu(strike the floor with toes while keeping the heels lifted)

Mettu (Bring the heel down and strike the floor)


Tisram : Ta- Ki- ta (3 beats)  Play audio

Beat/Foot work




Right Feet


Left Feet

Mettu(strike the floor with toes while keeping the heels lifted)

Mettu (Bring the heel down and strike the floor)


Misram: Ta- Ka- Dhi-Mi- Ta- Ki- ta (7beats) Play Audio

Successively perform the step 1 and 2 repeatedly


5 Responses

  1. wowh.. amazing, this site. Just found it…

    my congrats, dear Mrs. Sangeetha Shyam for this wonderful work. Would have been very helpful for my radio show in spring under the topic “Naty – the relevance of ragas for Indian Dance & Theatre”

    Short infos here if you like…

    In Germany we have only some few Indian dancers, I suppose your eLearning platform would be interesting for some and for a closer cooperation (e.g. Radha Sarma, representative of Indo-German Society (same Indian Dancer of Bharatanatyam) –

    All the best for your ongoing work…

    ElJay from Hamburg, North Germany

    Hi ElJay,
    You are doing an amazing job yourself!
    Regards and Best Wishes,

  2. hello snageethaji,
    hope you are doing well…i would like to know that in Thattumettu Adavu,how many times step should be repeated on each side?or it is performed only on right side?

  3. I want to know that if I don’t know my style of bharatnatyam How would I know my style?pandanallur,vajavur, or kalakshetra or Tanjore?12 years before, I have been told that my style is the combination of Tabjore and pandanallur.
    Can you please guide me in this?

    Dear Aparna,
    There are 2 ways that I can think of:-
    1. Ask your Guru, or his other disciples and try to find the genealogy, gurus guru and their style etc.
    2. Try watching represenatatives of the styles and see where yours fits in. For eg.
    Vazhuvor- Chitra visweswaran/S.K. Rajaratnam Pillia/ K.J. Sarasa’s students
    Kalakshetra- Dhananjayans, C V Chandrasekhar, Leela samson etc
    Pandanallur- Alarmel Valli
    See if you can find similarities in adavus, item selection and format, invocation etc.

  4. Dear Aparna,

    Since you have been told it is a mix of Tanjore and Pandanallur, you could look around for videos /performances of particular styles and decide. Prof Sudharani Raghupathy is a well known proponent of the Tanjore style, and Ms. Alarmel Valli comes from the Pandanallur tradition. kalakshetra was in fact born out of Pandanallur style, but is distinct for it geometric precision. There are a host of Kalakshetra Gurus and students that you could watch.
    Smt. Chitra Visweswaran and Sreekala Bharath are representatives of the Vazhuvoor tradition. The alarippu and adavus are usually a good guide.
    Identifying a style comes with watching performances in various styles and imbibing the minute differences in posture, execution and presentation of the dance form.

  5. Hi Binal,

    I am not sure there is a restriction with regards to the no. of times the tahttumettu is repeated. As for performing it on left and right, it depends on the tradition one comes from. It can be done on both sides, but some classes confine teaching only on the right side, though the left may also be used while performing/ using it in nritta items.
    But when thattumetu is done for lyrics as in varnams, keertanams and padams, it is usual to use only the right for practical convenience.

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