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

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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 41-Kartari Adavu

Hi students! How are you doing? Have you been practising during the break? I have been having challenges of my own in making an international move from Indonesia to Malaysia. While it would still need time for me to process the pictures and animations I will start off slowly… Please bear with me:)

The kartari (meaning scissors) is a criss sross adavu. Here the hands and the feet trace criss cross patterns in space. This can also be considered to be  aprt of the paidhal adavu, since it involves leaping too!

Sorkattu: Tai-taiyum-tatta (as in paidhal)

Hastas: kartarimukham

Utplavana Bedha used: Kartari(this type of leap is classified as kartari)

Start position: Araimandi, with both hands in kartarimukham facing downwards. Right hand stretched out and the left bent at elbow in front of the chest

Stage 1

Tai: Leap to you left(Fold your right feet so it is now it is not in contact with the floor). Move the right outstretched hand in a V shape,towards the front of your chest . The left hand remains in front of the chest.

Taiyum-tatta: place right feet accross and in front of the left feet.The right hand is now stretched all the way accross to the front towards the left. The right palm now faces the roof (uttanam). Bend at the waist to your right.

Stage 2:

For the next set of tai-taiyum tatta, mirror the above movement to left.

Stage 3:

Tai-Leap backwards slighlty to the left with the left leg (right feet is still kept folded and dosent reach the floor). Move left hand backwards towards the chest. Right hand is now stretched in front. Both hands hold kartarimukhams with palms towards the audience.

swastikam

taiyum-tatta: place right feet behind the left as in swastikam.Bend backwards slightly towards the left.

Both kartarimukhams are now held facing the audience, the right hand sretched out and the left placed in front of the chest.

Stage 4:

Tai: jump back with the right feet starting to the stretch the left kartarimukham towards the front.

Taiyum tatta: Place left feet behind the right in swastikam.. Both hands hold kartarimukhams (palms) towards the audience  . The right hand is in front of the chest and the left is stretched to the front .

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 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