How to learn Bharatnatyam?

Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form originating in Tamil Nadu, India.This article will help the beginners to dance Bharathanatyam.

Bharatanatyam Beginners
An introduction to one of India’s 8 classical dance forms,

What people fail to understand is that Bharatanatyam is a very technical dance form. Imagine you start teaching your kid how to read a story without even teaching him/her the basic alphabets? That is what these basics steps are. The alphabets that you need to learn (well) in order to learn the more advanced dances. I cannot ball park the number of years it will take to finish learning these basics (as there are a lot). It entirely depends on the student’s capabilities and the regularity with which he/she practices.

Adavus are steps that are combined to form a dance sequence in Bharatanatyam. They are done in synchronization with the sollu kattu (bol) or the syllables used. An adavu is a combination of –

Sthaanam (Position of the legs)
Mandalam (Position of standing)
Chaari (Movement)
Nritta hasta (Hand gestures)
I’ve outlined the sequence of these steps. Generally, when you join a Bharatanatyam class, this is how your class will proceed. Adavus are just basic steps taught in Bharatanatyam. Please note that depending upon the style and your Guru, the list and the steps in each adavu may differ slightly.

List of Adavus –
Nas), and learn a

dance sequence to music.

That it takes practice and patience to ace at any art form is a known fact. This fact is especially true for Bharatanatyam. It is believed that at least 6-7 years of rigorous training is required to even ascend the stage (Arangetram) and many more years to give commendable performances. But in this time and age, I find a lot of people looking to accelerate the learning process by skipping the basics. In fact, I was once asked by a mother, “if my daughter can directly learn a hip hop dance number, why can’t she learn a Bharatanatyam dance item?”. It is a valid question.

What people fail to understand is that Bharatanatyam is a very technical dance form. Imagine you start teaching your kid how to read a story without even teaching him/her the basic alphabets? That is what these basics steps are. The alphabets that you need to learn (well) in order to learn the more advanced dances. I cannot ball park the number of years it will take to finish learning these basics (as there are a lot). It entirely depends on the student’s capabilities and the regularity with which he/she practices.

Adavus are steps that are combined to form a dance sequence in Bharatanatyam. They are done in synchronization with the sollu kattu (bol) or the syllables used. An adavu is a combination of –

Sthaanam (Position of the legs)
Mandalam (Position of standing)
Chaari (Movement)
Nritta hasta (Hand gestures)
I’ve outlined the sequence of these steps. Generally, when you join a Bharatanatyam class, this is how your class will proceed. Adavus are just basic steps taught in Bharatanatyam. Please note that depending upon the style and your Guru, the list and the steps in each adavu may differ slightly.

Bharatanatyam Mudras

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