About This Website …

This website is still under construction.

The website aims to be an online learning aid and not a Guru.This project, which is a collaborative effort, aims at being a learning aid rather than replacing a Guru. The role of Gurus can never be substituted in the propagation of any of the “divine classical art forms” where the Gurusishya parampara and interactive relationships are essential. Art is not taught, effectively it is imbibed…Nevertheless this is a virtual attempt to open the doors to Bharathanatym on traditional class like sessions.

The website aims to link the vast resources that exist on the web at relevant places to make learning easier and wholesome.

Who is this Website for?

This free online instruction program we hope will be of use to teachers, students and parents alike in their quest for Bharathanatyam knowledge and awareness.

This project has real class like sessions that can help :-

  • Teachers organize their sessions.
  • Students brush up what was learned previously. This can be a good companion to those who want to pick up their threads from where they left.
  • Reinforce what is learned at class, for students.
  • As a virtual help to passionate students who are unable to find a guru.
  • Parents/ Mentors guide their kids. This will go a long way in determining the grasp and exposure of the child to the art form, thereby leading to successful learning.

How to use this Website?

In order to participate effectively in this learning program, start at the first session and then proceed with subsequent posts. This will give your learning, a structure and organization that comes with the progression in a real life dance class.

The comments can ensure interactivity between the authors and readers. We are still under construction and that gives us the flexibility to tailor the course to suit your needs.

We look forward to your comments and suggestions …


Online Bharathanatyam Academy

Copyrights and License Information: The contents of this site is governed by the
Creative Commons License
Online Bharathanatyam Academy by https://onlinebharathanatyamacademy.wordpress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

About The Authors

Mrs. Sangeetha Shyam :

Sangeetha ShyamMrs.Sangeetha Shyam, who hails from a family of art lovers, began her training in the rigors of Indian Classical Dance at a tender age of two. She began her lessons in Bharathantayam in the Pandanallur tradition with “Kalaimamani” Smt. Indra Rajan, niece of K.N. Dandayuthapani Pillai . She later embraced the Vazhuvoor tradition, drawn by its grace and creative choreography. She is a disciple of renowned “Padmasri” Smt. Chitra Visweswaran, and her senior disciple, Guru Smt. Priyadarshini Ramchand. Dance pedagogy, notation, and documentation are her key interests. Sangeetha is also trained in Carnatic Vocal and Instrumental (veena) Music. Academically she holds a Master’s Research Degree in Food and Nutrition, from the University of Madras, India. Apart form arts, her interests include, volunteering, multimedia and web designing.

She began assisting junior classes at her Guru’s institutes. She  trained committed and focussed students at Chidambaram Arts,  at Bandung, Indonesia for around 10 years. She currently resides in Kualalumpur, Malaysia. She is happy to share her passion and her 25 years of experience in the art form as a student, teacher and rasika with a wider audience through the mighty medium of Internet.

Sangeetha will currently be dealing with the sections on adavus, and related aspects.

Mr.Santosh Kumar: (His website)

Santosh Kumar is the Founder and Director of Kshetra Indian Dance School, Hong kong, India, equipped with a Masters Degree (Honours), in Bharathanatyam and Classical Music (Karnatic), from Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, Chennai, India. He was a guest artist and faculty at Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, Chennai. Santosh is also a proficient nattuvangam artist who has accompanied reputed artistes in their performances. Apart from Bharathanatyam, he is trained in Mohinyattham, Kuchipudi and folk dances of India. Santosh is a recipient of various titles and awards. Prominent among them are the “Kalaprathiba” and Government of Andhra Pradesh Department of Culture certificate for dance production.

At his institute Kshetra, he trains students (beginners to advanced levels) for performance and examinations. His institute also trains instructors. A naturally gifted and patient teacher with an eye for perfection, he brings out the best in his students.  He served as the Visiting Scholar at the University of Hong Kong. Currently santosh continues to serve his passion at UK.

Santosh will deal with the Bhedas and Viniyoga Slokas.

Past Contributors:

Mrs. Mallika Jayanthi :

The Academy is grateful to Mallika’s insight and acknowledges her contribution while she has been apart of this academy.(From its inception In January 2008 to April 20th, 2008 )

Mallika, along with Sangeetha ,was instrumental in getting an Online Bharathanatyam Academy started. She has dealt with the section on Anghas in this academy.

34 Responses

  1. An excellent site to understand and appreciate that beautiful form of dance called ‘Bharatanatyam’.One can feel the efforts and more importantly the passion..

    Keep up the Good work!!

  2. Thank You Mr. Rajendra Kumar. Those are words of motivation. And coming from somebody as resourceful as you are, it is a great honor.

    PS: Mr. Raj is a wonderful musician. His illustrious family includes his Father-in-law- Prof. CV. Chandrasekhar and his wife Manjari is a great dancer too. Please visit his blog at http://rajamanjari.blogspot.com/

  3. Hey Sangeeta …nice to see you … Excellent source of information being provided here. Especially the explanation of the feet movements and position. Talam in three speeds is also an added learning. I have linked you on my resources page. just check it out. Great going…..

  4. Hey thanks Anjali.
    Mallika was the one who actually came up with this idea for Joint venture. She was the one who finally got me to do it. My thanks are due to her. Though its a lot of hardwork I enjoy it. And thanks once again for linking us on the resources.

  5. sangeetha akka…..u r doing a great job….great contribution to this field……more over a great motivation and encouragement for the budding talents……i really appreciate u 4 ur great work…..not only u but 4 all the people behind this……..thank u for guiding us in such a beautiful way…….
    regards n prayers….
    hari kishan

    Sangeetha :Thanks Hari Kishan. Where are you from?

  6. Hi Trinities,

    Great idea and venture! Hope this website inspires artists to learn like Ekalaiva. I am a new fan.


    Dear Banu,
    It really makes us happy to hear that you find our website useful. It is our humble attempt to document what was imparted to us in the traditional guru sishya parampara setup.Once again, this is not an attempt to replace traditional gurus, but just a learning aid. If we are able to induct new rasikas and learners to this art form then that’s a blessing.

    (Trinities is too special a name for us to take up as yet…:))

  7. This is a fantastic blog/site! And the adjunt site is as informative as well… so happy to see artistes finally moving ahead and doing more to promote the standards and continuation of this amazing art/dance form. Only regret is that I wish you all lived here in states and could teach us and our children.

    Very best Wishes to you!

    Sangeetha: Thank You so much for your words that motivate us to do better. We are all citizens of one virtual world, geographical boundaries and limits don’t segregate us anymore:) Thanks to WWW

  8. Dear Sangeetha,

    Thanks for your effort in putting up this site to aid learners.

    Would it be possible for you to provide a link to:


    the personal web site of Mr Santosh Kumar we have recently launched.

    Thanks & regards,
    Hong Kong

    Dear Iris,
    That would be my pleasure.
    Consider it done!

  9. Dear Sangeetha
    I am a Bharata Natyam dancer from Mumbai,I am constantly seeking to learn further about this beautiful art form. Is it possible to let me know of good workshops conducted by experienced Gurus – in advance so as to attend these workshops. Being in Mumbai this is something that I miss out on completely.For instance I was reading about the dance performance By Prof.C V Chandrasekhar and I wish I was there to see it, there would so much to learn and grow.
    Please let me know how else can I update myself on these workshops, seminars etc.
    Would be highly obliged if you could guide me.
    Warm regards,

    Hi Reshma,
    Nice to see passionate souls around here. Am I right in saying that you are referring to Professor Chandrasekhar’s Natyarangam Camp?
    Narthaki lists the upcoming performances under the following sections
    Forthcoming events– and Post your events

    Kutcheribuzz.com also has a good collection of upcoming programs at sections dealing with news and events calendar.
    A few newspapers like The Hindu list them out on their Friday features and programs of the day.

    I put up posts on upcoming workshops and performances that I am informed about, or I get to know at my other blog, Bharathanatyam and World Wide web at http://sangeethas.wordpress.com/They are categorized under tags like, upcoming events, performances, workshops, learning etc.If you are looking for Mumbai search under tag titled “Mumbai” too!

    But I agree that we need a more organized communication channel:)

  10. Hey
    You are doing a great job.
    Art powered by web 🙂


    Thanks Raji! I am being a little slacknow since I dont have my multimedia computer with me yet. It is with the movers and packers asof now:( Once I get it I am planning to revert to my quick mode.


  11. Hi webmaster!

  12. Dear Sangeetha,

    Great work. This is a monumental effort and you must be putting in a lot of time.

    It is always lovely to meet a fellow artist. I am Anuradha G, a senior disciple of Dr. Yamini Krishnamurthy (Bharatanatyam) and Sri. K. V. Subrahmanium (Kuchipudi) and am currently based in Bhopal.

    Hi Anuradha!
    So nice to see you here. Your words motivate me to do better.
    It is a lot of work and with my sudden international move, it is indeed becoming a little harder than it was initially. But I am sure with good wishes from people like you, I will do justice to this passionate venture of mine.
    Keep in touch!

    Best Wishes,

  13. 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) – http://www.radha-sarma.com)

    All the best for your ongoing work…

    ElJay from Hamburg, North Germany

  14. Reverent Sangeetha ma’am,

    Thank you for sharing your experience and opening this world of knowledge for us.

    God bless you.

    Anusha Palvannan

  15. Interesting facts.I have bookmarked this site. stephanazs

  16. Sangeetha akka,

    I used to learn dance as a child and now trying to re-learn the art. I cannot tell you how much your website has helped me. Thank you so much.

    Wishing you a lot of luck,

    Hi Kavitha,
    Thank you so much. I need all your wishes to do justice to this ambitious project .

  17. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I love natyam but i am not a dancer can i join this website and learn natyam and more about natyam. please help me out

    Thanks & Regards,

    Hi Aruna,
    You are more than welcome to join us here and at our orkut community..

  18. Sir,
    I want to learn bharatanatyam in step by step. But the site contents are in a irregular manner. How I can do it? And there is no joining tab found on the site, is it possibe for me? How I do that? Please mention me it as soon as possible. – Nileena

    Dear Nileena,
    Welcome to OBA.
    You must remember that it is a blog with the recent posting on the top.
    The lessons are organized sequentially by session numbers. So you should start at session one.
    There are lots of ways to do this
    If you look at the left side of the site, yu will find the archives and you must be starting from the oldest post in January 2008.
    There definitely are those joining tabs at the end of each post to the earlier and later sessions.
    For eg session 44 will have a link to session 43 and session 45 at the end of the post.
    Also there are categories, so if you so decide to study all the theory session just click on theory and all posts filed under theory should be up, the recent on the top.

    Best Wishes,
    Sangeetha (not a sir:))

  19. Dear Madam,
    I learned Bharathanatyam, the most delightful art of our India for about 3 and half years and performed in a lot of stages at my tender ages. But there is no chance for me to further studies for 6 years, because of my college studies. Madam I really interested to see your website which provide a lot of things. Is it possible for me for further study from you after the 46th session? I now go throw all of your 46 sessions. Hope you will take a right decision towards me. Thanking You.

    Dear Parvathy,
    Glad to hear that our website interests you. I am not based in India currently and will not be able to teach you physically. Let me know further details and will see if I can find a Guru near you.

    Best wishes,

  20. hie sangeeta maam..
    cant thank you enough for this..!! I started bharatnatyam classes since i was 12 and did 5 yr course… but then i had to move to london n so i had totally lost the track of my steps. I was searching for something like this since long… this sure would help me a lot… thanks a lot again…. 🙂

    just one Question, do i need to register or anything to use this site? and how do i ensure ma membership in the orkut community????

    thanks again..

  21. Hi Sangeetha mam,

    Your site is very good and the theoritical part is really useful.Can you please tell me how to do Uthsanga adavu and Meiyadavu?Thanks.

    Hi Pratibha,

    Utsanga adavu- I am not familiar with this nomenclature. I will check with my friends and get back to you..
    Do you know the sollu kattu for it/? If so let me know and I will see if I can help.

    Mei adavu – “mei” is a Tamil term that means “body”. Mei adavu are usually seen at the beginning of thillanas. These steps are called as mei adavu because they movement of all/most parts of the body. Here are a few examples I found in you Tube..

    In this video of, you can see the mei adavu between 0.20 to 1.31 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl32bbZsBRw&feature=related)

    In this video(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzm2FowX3v8&feature=related) you can see another kind of mei adavu between ) 0.23 to 1.06

  22. Thank you mam.Your information was really helpful .I dont know the solkattu for uthsanga adavu.I have one more question sorry to bother you.Can I have solkattu for tisram alarippu atleast two paragraphs.

    Thank you,

    Hi Prathiba,
    Sorry for the delayed reply.. Just search for Tisram alarippu in You tube and you will have loads to pick from.

  23. Hi ,
    I found this online source “SHUBHANU”which I thought would be useful for you.

    Shubhanu offers temple jewellery, accessories and costume stitching for Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam and Odissi. Their costume tailors are highly experienced.
    visit at http://www.shubhanu.com/index.htm

  24. Hello,
    i’m very happy with your work!!keep it up!!I live in the US and was looking out for something exactly like this.I’m a Bharatanatyam dancer and wanted to brush up to teach my daughter!!I’ve found a great website!!

    good luck!!

    Thanks Mani 🙂

  25. Hello Mrs.Sangeetha,

    Nice to see this site… I am a student of Priya akka also and a good friend of Anupriya Krishnan 🙂 We both were almost in the same batch in our west mambalam classes..

    I am currently in Geneva. Am excited to meet people like you who are doing a great job!! Am also continuing my career in dance

    Would love to keep in touch with you.

    Krithika Natarajan

    Hi Krithika!
    Sorry for the delayed responnse.
    Will mail you soon!
    Best Wishes and Nice to meet you here!

  26. hi maam,

    i was just wondering…the last session posted was in november 08, are you not continuing with the web-lessons?


    Hi Bansri,
    I am sorry I am pretty tied up at the moment. Will reesume when I have more time. But I will be glad to answer your queries to the best I can, if you leave behind comments!
    Sorry for the inconvinience.


  27. Hi

    Very good site and good information.

    Cany ou please let me know what is the first dance taught after learning most of the adavus.

    Thanks Meena
    It generally is Alarippu also referred to as Alaru meaning blossoming of a flower.

  28. Dear Sangeetha,

    I would like to know more about Nattuvangam. I would be interested in knowing about the count and various other aspects in nattuvangam. Kindly let me know if you would be able to talk more on Nattuvangam also.

    I know there are 3 speeds in talam:
    1. Vilambam
    2. Madyamam and
    3. Drutham

    What is the count of Dhi Dhi Thai in each talam. Is Dhi Dhi Thai 2 count in Vilambam speed. Kindly clarify.

    Looking forward to hearing from you. Also is there a contact number to contact you.


    Krithika S

  29. Hi Sangeetha,
    I am from chennai. I am a bharatanatyam dancer. i finished my arangetram in 1997. i am a disciple of Master Babunath from Triplicane who is a disciple of Guru shri Kanchipuram Ellappa pillai. I need details about the style or pani of kanchipuram bhartanatyam. where do will i get the details. Can u help in this?. If u find a resource please tell me.

    Hi Rajeshwari,
    Sorry for the delay in replying to your comment. I was on a vacation.
    I did find some info and a genealogy of the Kancheepuram Ellappa Pillai in Sunil Kothari’s Book titled ” Bharata Natyam”. You could try referring to the same.
    According to this book, Ellappa came in contact with Kandappa pillai of Tanjore school and imbibed their finer aspects too.he is supposed to have “emphasized the precision of the basic stances, rhythmic tempo, and the subtleties of abhinaya”.
    (Late) Chandralekha, Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan and Smt. Lakshmi Viswanathan also had her training in this style from Conjeevaram/Kanchipuram Ellappa Pillai. Lakshmi Viswanathan says in an interview
    “Eventually I went to Kanchipuram Ellappa Pillai only because I heard him sing. He taught traditional compositions meant for dance. Even the use of a kirtanam was frowned upon, I did that much later. Ellappa’s rule was that every song must be learnt perfectly before the dancing was taught. From him I learnt all over again the varnams that I had performed as a child without understanding their grandeur, because he sang them so beautifully!”
    So if you would like to know more try finding their disciples.

  30. Dear Sangeetha,

    Please please finish the entire set of adavus… I do not see any from ettadavu onwards.. I was a student who learnt the Chitra Vishweswaran style of bharatnatyam and I lost my book of adavus… I desperately need ettadavu onwards.. I have already finished writing again until tatti metti…

    Please reply back and thank you so much!!!
    Lots of love and God bless,

  31. Dear Sangeetha,

    You have done a fantastic job with this website.! I thought I had hit a gold mine for bharatnatyam when I came across this site. Please upload the rest of the adavus from Ettadavu onwards 🙂 .. I shall be forever grateful to you and kindly reply..

    Thank you,

  32. I’m sorry I double posted the above… Didn’t see my message come up the first time… Sorry :$:$

  33. hi,
    my daughter is learning dance locally- grade 3 and would like to practice at home before her grade 3 exams. I have not the slightest understanding but she has asked me to find her the solkattu for Alaripu. I found some entries for her on you tube but she says they are not long enough.
    Can you please help?

    thank you in advance,


    Hi Della,
    I assume it must be the Tisra Alarippu. I am sure your daughter’s Guru will be able to give you the notation or the audio recording if necessary. As an extra reference you could purchase the commercial recording available frrom Swathi soft/the likes. I know both Priyadrarshini Goving and Madurai R muralidharan have come out with cassettes/CDs and DVD with many different alarippus. Check out a local Indian cassette store.
    Best Wishes,

  34. Hi,
    Our sincere thanks for your great contribution to teaching dance online.

    By any chance, do you have (or can point to) lyrics of popular Bharatanatyam pieces?

    (such as Ananda Koothaadinaar – the Shiva dance)

    Thank you

    Hi Ram,
    Anantha koothadinar in RishabaPriya Ragam, Adi Talam?
    Here you go

    Aananda koothadinar- Ambalavanan
    Chitsabhai Thanile, Vaiyum uyyivave

    Vanamum Puviyum, pathanjaliyum puliyum, Maanodu ayanum kunjitha paatham Paniyave- Ananda

    Chenthanalum oru kaiyil, udukaiyum thaangi
    Makkal nalam perave, thaan migavum engi
    chinthai magizhura Sivagami udan
    Chidambaranathan parivu miga kondu- Ananda

    I think it is a composition of Chidambaranatha Desikar.I have written down the lyrics from memory. So Please do check with a more reliable source if necessary.

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