Session 46- Panchanadai – Kantam and Sankeernam

Step 4

Kantam : Ta-ka- ta-ki-ta (5 beats) Play audio file

Kantam: Ta- Ka- ta-ki-ta (5 beats)..

Beat/Foot work

Ta

ka

ta

ki

ta

Right Feet

Tap

tap

 

Left Feet

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

Mettu (Bring the heel down and strike the floor)

 

Step5

Sankeernam: Ta- Ka- Dhi-Mi- Ta-ka-ta- Ki- ta (9beats)(4+5)

Perform step 1(Chatushram) and step 4(kantam) successively.

 Play audio file

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

Ta

ka

dhi

mi

Right Feet

Tap

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)

Step2

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

Beat/Foot work

Ta

Ki

Ta

Right Feet

Tap

Left Feet

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

Mettu (Bring the heel down and strike the floor)

Step3

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

Successively perform the step 1 and 2 repeatedly

 

Session 44:Exercise- Reciting with Thalam

Below is a video of Adi talam( Chatushra jati Triputa Talam having a total of 8 beats). Now try to use this and recite the natadavu or the mardhita in three speeds. Also try using your own hands to keep the time measure. Once you have understood this, you are ready to embark further on the panchanadai..

Please Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaiEL7ewMx4&feature=related ( since the video embedding is prohibited by this user, I am not able to do so here)

Video Courtesy: You Tube

Once you have accomplished reciting the sorkattu for the adavu with the thalam, watch the following video which demonstrates a Mirdanga Vidwan,mr. Satish Krishnamurthy, reciting a korvai (or a rhythmmic sequence) for adi talam. This recitation of the rhythmic syllable is also referred to as Konakkol. Try to keep the Talam along with him. It may not be easy the first time. Dont give up, learning the knack of it will be a very satisfying experience.

You may wonder why talam is given so much emphasis in this blog, but then remember “Tha” in Bharatha Natyam is for Thalam. Since we are learning the adavus or steps currently, we arent exactly touching upon the Bhavam or expressional aspect.. Ragam or Music is a subject in itself. Currently the right approach for you would be to master Talam (Rhythm) and Kaalam(Speed)

Video Courtesy: You Tube

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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKJ7UuQB3fo

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.

Observation Exercise…

In this session let us watch a video from the You Tube very carefully..

You see a student perform the adavus packaged slightly differently.

You should be able to identify atleast 3 sets of adavus that you have learnt. Try. You may send in your answers as comments

Can you identify the adavus?

Session 39- Paidhal step 4

Let’s begin with watching this small animation file..

Source: Our video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKKAfjkjtkA

Explanations will follow soon!

Session 38 – Paidhal Step 3

Lets begin with watching this animation…

Now lets look at the movement flow in the step.

Start Position: Stand with feet together with katakamukhams at chest level in the right hand and the katakamukham stretched up above the head and facing upward in the left hand.

  • Tai:
    • Tap right feet behind the left to form a swastikam(crossed) behind the flat left feet
    • Bend to your left at your waist

· Tai

  • Leap and land with right feet . Fold your left leg at the knees and keep it raised behind the right leg.
  • The right hand opens out in alapadmam, and it is stretched out at the shoulder level to the front.
  • Bend towards the outstretched hand
  • Yum

o The left leg is now landed on its toes behind the right feet .

o The hand position and bending are as above

· Tatta – this is a rest/silent phrase (where no movement is done)

·For the next set of tai- tai yum- tatta mirror the movement in the left.

Try this with this audio link

Session 37- Paidhal Step 2

Lets take a look at this animation…

Ref Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOi4K8OG-bk

Start Position: Araimandi with katakamukhams at chest level.

Stage 1:

  • Tai: –
    • Leap and land with right feet . Fold your left leg at the knees and keep it raised behind the right leg.
    • The right hand opens out in alapadmam, tracing an arc it is stretched out at the shoulder level.
    • Bend towards the outstretched hand.

· Taiyum:

o The left leg is now landed on its toes to form a swastikam(crossed) behind the flat right feet.

o The hand position and bending are as above

· Tatta – this is a rest/silent phrase (where no movement is done)

Stage 2: Repeat as in stage one to the left. The left hand is now stretched in alapadmam and the right hand is brought back into a katakamukham in front of the chest.

Till this point it is just like the first step.

Stage 3:

  • Tai: –
    • Leap to the front landing on right toes, and begin to sit in Muzhumandi (full sitting position)
    • Both hand at avahitha in front of the chest are opened out and taken in a curve above the head in alapadmam,

· Taiyum:

o The left leg is now landed on its toes into the full mandi position.

o The hands continue their upward movement in alapadmam

· Tatta – With the feet already into position the hands alone are strtched completely in katakamukhams facing upward.

Stage 4

  • Tai: –
    • Stand up and balance on your left foot with the right leg bent at the knee and the foot placed in front of the left knee.
    • The right hand is stretched to the right, in alapadmam, horizontally at shoulder level, and the left hand stretched up in katakamukham vertically
    • The 360 degree turn (or bramhari) while supported on one (left ) leg is now initiated. This is called the Eka Paada Bramhari (Eka – one. Paada-feet, Bramhari-turn/revolution)

· Taiyum:

o Maintaining the feet as above a the turn is now completed to around 270 degrees.

o Hands as above .

· Tatta – Now the dancer completes the turn and faces the audience. The left hand is still stretched up in an upward facing katakamukham. The right hand is brought and placed in a katakamukham, in front of the chest

All the four stages are then repeated to the left. It may be remembered that for the left side of this adavu, the turn is now executed towards the right side with the right leg firmly placed on the floor and the left leg lifted up.

Most young students have a trouble remembering which side to turn. Here is something that can help them to remember.
For the right side, the right hand and right leg(folded up) turn towards the left.
Similary for the left side, the left hand and left leg turn towards the right.

You could practice saying

  • Right- taiyum- tatta
  • Left – taiyum- tatta
  • Sit- taiyum- tatta
  • Turn- taiyum- tatta
  • Left – taiyum- tatta
  • Right- taiyum- tatta
  • Sit- taiyum- tatta
  • Turn- taiyum- tatta

Session 36- Paidhal Step 1

This step involves systematic and rhythmic leaps to the sides, front and back.

Lets watch the animation that demonstrates the adavu to the right side.

Start Position: Araimandi with katakamukhams at chest level.

Stage 1:

  • Tai: –
    • Leap and land with right feet . Fold your left leg at the knees and keep it raised behind the right leg.
    • The right hand opens out in alapadmam, tracing an arc it is stretched out at the shoulder level.
    • Bend towards the outstretched hand.

· Taiyum:

o The left leg is now landed on its toes to form a swastikam(crossed) behind the flat right feet.

o The hand position and bending are as above

· Tatta – this is a rest/silent phrase (where no movement is done)

Stage 2: Repeat as in stage one to the left. The left hand is now stretched in alapadmam and the right hand is brought back into a katakamukham in front of the chest.

Stage 3:

  • Tai: –
    • Leap and land diagonally to the front on the right side and land with right feet . Fold your left leg at the knees and keep it raised behind the right leg.
    • The right hand opens out in alapadmam, it is stretched out at the shoulder level. The left hand is stretched above the head in an upturned katakamukham.
    • Bend towards the outstretched hand.

· Taiyum:

o The left leg is now landed on its toes to form a swastikam(crossed) behind the flat right feet.

· Tatta – this is a rest/silent phrase (where no movement is done)

Stage 4

  • Tai: –
    • Leap back to the start position with the left feet . Fold your right leg at the knees and keep it raised beside the left leg.
    • The right hand in alapadmam, and the left hand stretched up in katakamukham are brought back and placed in katakamukhams in front of the chest.
    • The torso is now straightened.

· Taiyum:

o The right leg is now placed beside the left feet in parshvagam.

o Hands as above .

· Tatta – this is a rest/silent phrase (where no movement is done)

All the four stages are then repeated to the left.

Try this with this audio link .

While teaching kids it may help to say

  • R -taiyum -tatta
  • L-taiyum -tatta
  • Front-taiyum -tatta
  • Back -taiyum -tatta
  • L-taiyum -tatta
  • R-taiyum -tatta
  • Front -taiyum -tatta
  • Back -taiyum -tatta

Session 35- Introduction to Paidhal/leaping steps

Paidhal or Paichal is a Tamil term that means “to leap”. It differs from the Kudhitametti in the sense, the dancer while doing the Paidhal covers space, whereas in Kudhitametti she/he jumps in the same spot. A very graceful step in itself, paidhal is usually seen at the end of korvai(a string of adavus) as part of ardhis..(The concluding steps)

Paidhal itself includes a variety of leaps and may also be coupled with spins (Bramhari). It also includes the famous Kartari(Scissors) Adavu where the movement of the hand and feet trace criss-cross patterns in space.

  • Sthanakam: Araimandi
  • Hastas: Katakamukham, Alapadmam, Shikaram, Ardhachandran and Kartarimukham
  • Leg Movements/feet positions: Utplavana(Jumps/leaps) bhedas akin to Motitam , Kartari and kartari. Eka paada Bramhari(turn) is also used. These new terms will be explained in detail at a later stage. Right now it would suffice if you understood paidhal uses various leaps and turns.
  • Sollukattu:
    • This set of davus is set to a 3 beat cycle, though it need not be limited to it.
    • The sollukattu I was taught is Tai-Taiyum-tatta
    • The other commonly used sorkattu is tathinthaka-tatdhin-dina

Let’s look at the sorkattu distribution in 3 speeds.

Sorkattu/beat 1 2 3
Speed 1 Tai Taiyum tatta
Speed 2 Tai- taiyum Tatta -tai Taiyum-tatta
Speed 3(For convenience) Ta-ki-ta Ta-ki-ta Ta-ki-ta

Let’s listen to the audio here