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Bharatanatyam /‘bʌ.rʌ,θə.nɑ:t.jəm/ [bhuh-ruh-thuh-naht-yum] -noun 1. One of the oldest forms of classical dance, originating from southern India1 circa 300 BCE2. 2. A theatrical entertainment in which a dancer (usually) performs to a Carnatic music3 ensemble. When the performance consists of a troupe, it usually has a storyline and is therefore considered a dramatic art. 3. An ancient form of dance that began globalizing c. 18384, which is currently surrounded by controversy regarding a supposed inverse relationship between the geographical extension of the art form and the sustenance of its quality. 5 Origin: Term coined by E. Krishna Iyer c. 1940, the dance form was previously known as Sadir. Most commonly explained as the “Dance of India”, bharata referring to the preceding name of the Indian subcontinent, and natyam being the Sanskrit word for dance. Folk etymology explains it to be acronymic; bhavam, ragam, thalam (expressions, music and rhythm) combined to form said natyam (dance).5

5

In other words, is there a connotation of inferiority attached to dancers who train in countries other than India?

1

Malik, Kapila. "Bharatanatyam, Its Origin and Recent Development," World Theatre, 5(2): 142-153, Spring 1956. 2 Kilger, George (1993). Bharata Natyam in Cultural Perspective. New Delhi: Manohar American Institute of Indian Studies. pp. p. 2. 3 Southern Indian classical music 4 O’ Shea, Janet. “At home in the world: Bharatanatyam on the global stage”, Wesleyan University Press, 2007, p. xi 5 Many scholars argue that this is a recent development that stemmed from the Western practice of acronyms. Kollengode Venkataraman, Editor of The Pittsburgh Patrika, wrote that the “20th century acronym-building disease pervasive in European languages (integrated into) Bharatanatyam. Soon, because of the zinger effect in using an acronym for explaining Bharatanatyam to an anglicized Indian audience, most emcees uncritically embraced this.”

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Introduction Bharatanatyam is arguably the most common Indian dance form in practice today, despite being one of the oldest. As every art form, it has evolved; the extent of its development reaching new heights in the past century. The problem, however, is not regarding this general trend of development, but rather the fact that its evolution has lately been criticized to be a degradation of sorts. Globalization has built a rostrum of change upon all ancient art forms inevitablypopulations are migrating, and cultural norms are altering at a rapid rate as the result of miscegenation. The contemporary dancer is forced to wonder: where is the line drawn when it comes to a dancer’s right to reinterpret an ancient dance form? Is this practice a part of this dance’s evolution or a step closer to its extinction?

“…one issue of great concern to rasikas6 of classical Indian dance… Bharatanatyam in particular, is its modernization and the slow emaciation of the traditional format that may lead eventually to its death on the concert stage.”7 6 7

Sanskrit; admirers Seshan, A., “Neo-Classical and Modern Dancing and Margam in Bharatanatyam.”

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


In September 2001, Dance Ethnologist Anuradha Ganpati chronicled society’s response to a teen performance of a strictly interpreted Ratisringara Padam8 in a typical microcosm of the Indo-American world, the city of Los Angeles9. Ganpati’s interviews in the article accurately delineate what many dancers are finding hard to do: be able to pinpoint the complications that the evolution of Bharatanatyam faces today, specifically in the Western hemisphere. The situation of amateur dancers performing a typical number seems to be primary in nature, but is quite the contrary. Focusing on the performers, we face two problems: the average non-native teenager cannot understand the lyrics of the piece and therefore is fully dependent on the teacher for instructions on abhinaya10. Some scholars have argued this to be the first step of dilution- not all phrases are understood the same way when interpreted into another language, and many contextual scenes are no longer associable or applicable to modern perspectives, and therefore are dismissed as anachronisms. Without a strong background of the theoretical aspect of Bharatanatyam, soon there will be

8

Sanskrit; romantic piece Ganpati, Anuradha. “Selecting the Padam in Los Angeles”, an excerpt from author’s graduate thesis titled Imagining Inheritance, University of California, Los Angeles. 10 Sanskrit; facial expressions 9

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


interpretations of interpretations being taught, only to be further diluted until the original concept is possibly lost in translation.

"…reinterpretation is inevitable and yet still controversial for any dance with a long history."11 In an interview12 with a Los Angeles teen’s mother, Ganpati wrote that the “(interviewee’s) daughter at fifteen will not reconcile to the fact that this woman is pining for her man. She finds it too ‘cheesy’ because she has been raised in America. The culture is different here, girls are much more verbal and direct here.” Modern Bharatanatyam gurus13 are faced with the option of interpreting the lyrics loosely in order to increase the student’s associability with the situation, or may choose to explain the context of the lyrics, which does not have a guaranteed result of improvement in performance or understanding. According to most critics of modern Bharatanatyam, teachers eventually give up on their attempt at recontexualization and are forced to compromise on the standards of performances for the sake of spreading the art. 11

McQuade, Molly. "Diaspora dance: Bharata Natyam's evolution", Dance Magazine, December 2001. The interview was between Ganpati and Malathi Iyengar, the Artistic Director of the Rangoli Foundation for Art and Culture in Los Angeles at the time in February 1998. 13 Sanskrit; teachers 12

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


If those who are trained in the art are compromised in their understanding of it, one cannot expect the audience to understand any better. The current audience may be able to appreciate the art form due to previous exposure, but the survival of Bharatanatyam as we know it may not occur if the next generation does not equip themselves with the ability to understand it.

“My idea of tradition is constant change. I don't think … any dance… is a finished product. Dance is like nature— it must continue to grow.”14

The fact of its existence today is used as an argument against those who express discontent against what Bharatanatyam is evolving into; if an art form has successfully managed to exist through thousands of years, it may not seem appropriate for conservatism to demand maintenance of certain standards today. However, conservatism doesn’t seem to be the only reason that the standards are being questioned. Evolution has always faced criticism, perhaps due to the inertia in art against change (and consequentially, familiarity), but one must note that 14

Chandralekha Prabhudas Patel (1928- 2006), renowned Bharatanatyam dancer.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


globalization at these rates is unprecedented. The dancer is no longer equipped with the familiarity of the words or context. Therefore, the important question is not about if those who complain regarding the loss of standard are being an obstacle to evolution, but if the evolution (as the argument defines it) is detrimental to the richness of the art form. Those who argue for fusion choreographies, create new styles or even those who argue against any change all agree on one thing: the beauty of the art lies in understanding it, and there lies no merit in changing something if there isn’t a complete of understanding of its form. One may conclude that the true argument is not against evolution but for the encouragement of understanding Bharatanatyam in its entirety despite its ancient nature. Considering Bharatanatyam’s recent recovery from the “loss of divinity”15, this is a particularly important time in its development. The theory of Bharatanatyam forms a language in itself. Once a dancer knows the basic words, Bharatanatyam itself becomes a language- the burden of a performer’s inability to understand is lessened greatly. Regardless of whether you are an aficionado or student of this dance form, learning basic theory is critical in the process of understanding a Bharathanatyam performance in its 15

Refer to the History of Bharatanatyam, Chapter 4.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


entirety. Every hand gesture is defined clearly; to watch a performance for hours with no understanding of the message is painful, but to understand stories that have been retold for thousands of years isn’t. Learning the definitions of hand gestures can make that difference.

“(Bharatanatyam) is damned as archaic and irrelevant to the modern times.”16 Being trained in both a native and non-native setting, I could see only one major difference: students who lacked interest usually lacked basic theoretical knowledge. The bulk of Bharatanatyam theory focuses on defining expressions, gestures or movements, with a portion overlapping basic Indian classical music. Expressions are easily associated with when there is a clear understanding of the character; characters are understood when there is a clear understanding of context and history- and knowing basic theory gives the performing the medium to freely express it, without the need to copy the guru’s every move. With theory, even the most inexperienced dancer is given the power of expression in the universal language of Bharatanatyam. To imitate one’s 16

Pattabhiraman, N. "What is Bharatanatyam?", Sruti Magazine. August 2001, Issue 203.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


movements very closely can never replace the ability to express ones’ self intuitively. I began this project to present the basic theory that had made a considerable impact upon my caliber as a Bharatanatyam dancer in an easily accessible way. It is merely a reproduction of the shlokas17 that were taught to me by oral tradition. It has additional contextual information regarding the history of Bharatanatyam with a focus on what scholars have termed “NeoBharatanatyam”- the present stage of the Bharathanatyam’s development. This theory is over thousands of years old, and is translated from the Natya Sashtra18. One cannot but look at Bharatanatyam differently after understanding what a developed and complex art form Bharatanatyam is. Quite contrary to common belief, I assure you that it is anything but boring.

17 18

Sanskrit; verses. Sanskrit, a meticulous ancient text on the art form.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


The Myth of its Origin There are many interesting concepts in this story which are surprisingly ahead of their time, considering how long the myth has been around. Bharatanatyam has been commented upon even in the earliest recordings of human writing19. Because of its assumed existence before our ability to transcribe, there is no concrete date as to when it originated.20 Considering the age of the art form, there is no recorded founder either- which goes along with the myth that it is an art form that was given by immortal beings to the mortal world.21 There is a myth common to all styles and forms of Bharatanatyam: According to the Indian calendar, there are four ages (called yugas)22 that the world goes through. As the belief goes, the earlier we are in the cycle, the more divine mankind is; and reversely, the later we are in the stages, the more worldly or materialistic mankind will be. During a certain treta yuga (the second of four stages), the laws of nature were being questioned by mankind. In order to calm the collective existential crisis that men were plummeting into, the 19

Cathir is an ancient dance form that was renamed Bharathanatyam. Many ancient texts speak of Cathir- refer to Chapter four for more information. 20 Schechner, Richard. Between Theatre and Anthrolpology, University of Pennsylvania Press, pp 77. 21 Banerji, Projesh. Dance of India, Kitabistan Publications, 1956. pp 127. 22 The four stages are Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali.

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Devas23approached the Lord of Creation, Brahma. The Lord went into deep meditation and created the art of dancing, and sought to calm man’s inner instability by introducing an art form that would entertain, uplift, express and teach. By giving man the ability to feel true passion, he believed that it would assuage their pain and help them come back to leading a dharmic24 life. Thus, he is said to have discovered Bharatanatyam. He chose to pass this art form to a sage called Bharata. (Another possible explanation to the naming of Bharatanatyam is Bharata’s natyam- i.e. the Dance of Sage Bharata.) The Sage went on to teach Bharatanatyam to his one hundred sons, due to their exceptional grahana25, dharana26, prayog27 and gyana28. However, his sons -as males- were unable to perform a certain style (called Kaishiki Vruthi), due its delicacy. The Lord of Creation then created 24 female upsaras29, who explored the art from the female perspective.

It speaks of art’s power on man, the ability to calm chaos through realizing true passion, the gracefulness of women, the strength of a man, and the equality of all.

23

Sanskrit; Celestial beings- above humans, but beneath a God. Usually compared with the status of an angel. Sanskrit; The Indian concept of righteousness, i.e., to follow a path of virtue. 25 Sanskrit; intelligence 26 Sanskrit; retention 27 Sanskrit; expression 28 Sanskrit; knowledge 29 Sanskrit; nymphs 24

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Soon after, Bharata conceptualized what we know as the first performance, a dramatic execution of all the aspects of Bharatanatyam. With rhythm, music and expression, they performed the “Asura Parajai”, or the defeat of the Demons. When the Demons heard of the performance, they were offended and decided to approach Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma then reminded himself of the purpose of Bharatanatyam- for it was an art form that was meant to recover the inner divinity in all. He encouraged them to learn the art. Soon after, it was introduced to the mortal realm, and has been practiced here ever since.

Bharatanatyam is meant to consume one’s self, and break one’s perennial connection with the materialistic world. For dancers who find that passion, that divinity is still very much alive. Bharatanatyam was never gender specific, but there is another sub-story to its origin that highlights the difference between a male performer and the female dancer. The dance form is said to be truly mastered by Lord Shiva, in his form of Nataraja30. Lord Shiva would dance with his wife, Goddess Parvathi. His method of instruction was to execute a particular dance step so she could repeat the step.

30

Sanskrit; Nata- dance, Raja- king. Therefore, the king of dance.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


She was able to repeat every step that Lord Nataraja had performed. Soon, many began to question if she was on par with the skill of Lord Nataraja himself. The story continues to say that Lord Nataraja then performed a particular pose referred to as the urdhava-Nataraja, whereupon he lifted his right leg high enough for it to be parallel to his body. As the culture of India goes, females are not ones to expose themselves, and therefore his wife did not repeat the pose. The beauty of an art form not only being non-gender specific and yet clearly defining the two roles is ahead of its time. The sons of Bharata were unable to dance with the gracefulness of the upsaras; yet Parvathi was unable to dance with the unabashed vigor that Lord Nataraja could perform with. The story of Bharatanatyam’s origin is usually taught to the student before the journey of learning the art commences. As the dancer Isadora Duncan 31 said, “…there are likewise three kinds of dancers: first, those who consider dancing as a sort of gymnastic drill, made up of impersonal and graceful arabesques; second, those who, by concentrating their minds, lead the body into the rhythm of a desired emotion, expressing a remembered feeling or experience. And finally, there are those who convert the body into a luminous fluidity, surrendering it to the inspiration of the soul.”

31

(1877- 1927), she was a world renowned dancer who is usually referred to as the creator of modern dance.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


The student is asked to recall the concept of why Bharatanatyam entered the mortal world. To some, it is considered to be a form of meditation. The script of Sage Bharata’s meticulous notes on the theory of Indian dance is referred to as the Natya Shastra. Some schools of thought believe that Lord Brahma created the Natya Shastra to present what the first four Vedas32 preached philosophically, but in a more accessible way. When mankind found it hard to find true peace within themselves, Brahma is said to have assuaged the pain of confusion with the stability of passionate divinity. Through dancing, we are given a chance to experience the inner peace that a sage who rigorously studied the Vedas could attain- yet still be functional in the world of samsara33. Thus, the Natya Shastra is referred to as the fifth Veda. Although the origin of Bharatanatyam seems to be very close knit to Hinduism, the dance form is not based on religion. The myths of its origin and the common subject of the lyrical aspect are usually highly relevant to Hinduism, but we must consider the fact that the dance form existed before cultures began to interact. The concept to be learned from the origin is applicable universally- to dance with passion is to dance with purpose. 32

Sanskrit; ancient scriptures of India. There are four: Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana. The four Vedas are very fundamental in the religion of Hinduism, and consequentially are influential in many other religions that originated in India. 33 Sanskrit/ Tamil (-m); familial life.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


With the globalization and consequent assimilation that is occurring right now, Bharatanatyam is not only easily accessible to different cultures and countries, but is also open to evolving into something that it did have the opportunity to develop into before. Understanding the movements, meanings and theoretical background will not only make a considerable difference in being able to understand the philosophy of Bharatanatyam, but it will also give students the ability to compose, and therefore be able to express themselves.

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Head Movements

Bharatanatyam’s theory is so intricate, every possible head movements is catalogued. Although it doesn’t affect the dancer’s comprehension of the language of Bharatanatyam as much single handed or double handed gestures, it is useful when the teacher has to instruct a student. By becoming familiar with the terminology, it makes the guru’s job easier- and helps you understand a performance much better. The term for head movements is shiro bedha viniyoga.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


shiro bedha viniyoga (all head movements)

Samam Udhvaahitham Adhomukam Aalolitham Dhutham Kampithamcha Paraavrutham Ukshiptham Parivaahitham Navadaakathitham- sheersham naatyashastra- vishaaradeihee

samam

Standard; to be straight.

udhvaahitham

To move so that your nose faces the ceiling

adhomukham

To move the opposite way; so that your face looks down

aalolitham

To form a complete circle with your head

dhutham

To move it from side to side

kampithamcha

To movie it up and then down

paraavrutham

To turn your face towards one side

ukshiptham

To turn your head towards the other side

privaahitham

To nod as if you were saying “I can’t”, rapidly.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


sama shira viniyogaha (all possible movements from the first position)

natyarambhey japaadavcha garvay pranayakopayoho sthambhey nishkriyathvaycha samasheersha mudhaahrutham

natyarambhey

the beginning posture of dance

japaadavcha

to be in meditation

garvay

to show self-importance

pranayakopa

pretending to be angered, or loved

sthambhey

shock, astonishment

nishkriyathvaycha

resting; not doing anything.

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


udhvaahitha shira viniyogaha (all possible movements from the second position)

dwajay chandray cha gaganay parvathay vyoomagaamishu thungavasthuni samyooj-mudhvaahitha shiro viduhu

dwajay

flag

chandray

moon

gaganay

sky

parvathay

mountain

vyoomagaamishu an object that levitates thungavasthuni

objects of high altitude

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


adhomuka shira viniyogaha (all possible movements from the third position)

lajja kayday pranaameshu dushchinthaa moorchayosthathaa adah-sthithaartha-nirdeshey yujyathay ambhuni mujjanay lajja

to be shy

kayday

to be sorrowful

pranaameshu

to pay respect to elders

dushchinthaa

to have detrimental thoughts

moorcha

the act of fainting

adah-sthithaartha-nirdeshey

to place something on a low surface

ambhuni-mujjanay

to jump into water/ a body of water

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


aalolitha shira viniyogaha (all possible movements from the fourth position)

Nidrodwega grahaaveyshey madha moorchaasu thanmatham Bramanay vikato-dhaamahasyeh chaalolitham shiraha Nidrodwega

to be tired; sleepy.

grahaaveyshey

to be possessed by an evil spirit

madha

ego

moorchaasu

the act of fainting

thanmatham

to be inebriated

Bramanay

rotary motion

vikato-dhaamahasyeh

uncontainable mirth

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


dhutha shira viniyogaha (all possible movements from the fifth position)

naasthithivachaney booyaha paarshva deshaavalokanay janasvasay vismayehcha vishaaday anipsithay thathaa sheethaarthey jwarithay bheethay -sadhyah peethaasavay thathaa yudhey yanthray nisheydaadava marshey swangavikshana parshvaahanay thasyokthaha prayogo bhrathaadibihi

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


naasthithivachaney booyaha

to say that you do not know

paarshva deshaavalokanay

to look away or avoid

janasvasay

to converse with others

vismayehcha

to be astonished

vishaaday

to feel sad

anipsithay thathaa

to be unwilling

sheethaarthey

to feel cold

jwarithay

to have a fever

bheethay

to be frightened

sadhyah peethaasavay

to consume liquor

yudhey

to battle

yanthray

to carry heavy things

nisheydaadava marshey

to be agitated; to refuse.

swangavikshana

to glance at one’s own body

parshvaahanay

to catch someone’s attention

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


kampitha shira viniyogaha (all possible movements from the sixth position)

roshey thishtaythi vachanay prashanay sankyopa huthayoho aavahanay tharjanay cha kampitham viniyujyathay roshey

to be angry

thishtaythi vachanay

to ask someone to stop somewhere

prashanay

to question

sankyopa

to count

aavahanay

to invite, usually the deities

tharjanay

to threaten

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


paravrutha shira viniyogaha (all possible movements from the seventh position)

thathkaryam kopa lajjadikruthay vakthaprasaaranay anaadaray kachay thoonyam paraavruthashiro thathkaryam

commanding

kopa

anger

lajjadikruthay

to be shy

vakthaprasaaranay

turning your face away

anaadaray

to be slighted

kachay

to grip one’s hair

thoonyam

to quiver

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


ukshiptha shira viniyogaha (all possible movements from the eighth position)

gruhanaa gacheythya dhayarthasoochanay pariposhanay Angikaaray prayokthavyam parivaahitha sheershakam Gruhanaa gacheythya dhayarthasoochanay

to either command or request

Pariposhanay

to be supportive

Angikaaray

to accept

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


parivaahita shira viniyogaha (all possible movements from the ninth position)

mohay cha virahay sthoothray santhoshey chanumodhanay Vicharay cha prayokthavyam parivaahitha sheershakam mohay

infatuation

virahay

the pain one suffers when longing for a loved one

sthothray

to praise (usually a God)

santhoshey

to feel happiness

chanumoodhanay

to approve

vicharay

to think in deep grief

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Eye Movements

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Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


dhrusthi bheda viniyogaha (all possible eye movements)

samam aalookitham saachi praalokitha nimeelithay ullokitha anuvrutheycha thathaacheivaavalokitham samam

looking straight

aalookitham

looking around

saachi

looking at one side (right, by default)

praalokitha

looking both sides

nimeelithay

half closed

ullokitha

looking up

anuvrutheycha

looking up and down

thathaacheivaavalokitham

looking far away (down, by default)

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


sama viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for sama)

naatyarambhey thulaayaamcha chaapyaanya-chinthaa-vinishchayeh aascharyeh devatharoope samadhrusthi-rudhaahrutha naatyarambhey

beginning posture for dance

thulaayaamcha

balance (between two bodies—like a sale)

chaapyaanya-chinthaa

effort to figure out another person’s thoughts

vinishchayeh

with certainty

aascharyeh

astonishment

devatharoope

to look at the image of God (or something as praiseworthy)

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


aalokitha viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for aalokitha)

kulaalachakra-bramanaey sarvavasthu-pradarshanay yaachnyaanaamcha prayokthavyam aalokitha-nirikshanam kulaalachakra bamanaey

circular movement (such as a wheel)

sarvavasthu-pradarshanay

to observe/ show one’s surroundings

yaachnyaanaamcha

to beg

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


saachi viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for saachi)

ingithe shamashru-sparshay sharalakshyay shukay smruthuvsookshnaayanam cha kaaryaanam naatye saachi- nirikshanam ingithe

to hint

shamashru-sparshay

to denote one’s mustache

sharalakshyay

to draw an arrow

shukay

a parrot

smruthuvsookshnaayanam

to remember the past

kaaryaanam

the act of pointing out (the past)

naatye

dance

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


praalokitha viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for praalokitha)

ubhayogo parshvayorvasthu nridyeshe cha prasamjithay chalanay budhijyaatyeycha pralokitha- nirikshanam ubhayogo

to use

parshvayorvasthu nridyeshe

to denote things on both sides

prasamjithay

joy

chalanay

to move

budhijyaatyeycha

a state of idiocy

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


nimilithey dhrusthi bheda viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for nimilithey)

aashivishay paarvarshay japay dhyanay namaskruthou umaadhay sookshadhrustouvcha cha nimilithaa dhristhri ririthaa aashivishay

to show a snake (or something equally vicious)

paarvarshay

to be hypnotized

japay

to pray

dhyanay

to meditate

namaskruthou

to salute (with subservience)

umaadhay

madness

sookshadhrustouvcha

to observe (with a keen interest)

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


ullokitha dhrusthi bheda viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for ullokitha)

dhwajagray gopuray devamandalay poorvajanamani ouvnaathay chandrikadhaava-ullokitha neerikshanam dhwajagray

flag

gopuray

tower

devamandalay

heavens

poorvajanamani

previous birth

ouvnaathay

elevated areas (usually of high altitude)

chandrikadhaava

moonlight

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


anuvritha dhrusthi bheda viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for anuvritha)

kopadhristouv priyamandray anuvritta nirikshanam kopadhristouv

angry look

priyamandray

to beckon with love

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


avalokitham dhrusthi bheda viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for avalokitham)

chayalokay vicharay chaayaaryaam patanashrame swaangaabalokanay yaanay avalokithmuchyathay chayalokay

to notice a shadow

vicharay

one’s reflection

chaayaaryaam

to exercise

patana

to attempt to study

shrame

tiredness

swaangaabalokanay

to admire/ observe your own body

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Neck Movements

Eye movements are more intuitive than anything else; it is hard for a dancer to memorize emotion and then use it as a language. The cataloging of eye movements lorem ipsm dolorem placeholder text lorem ipsm dolorem placeholder text lorem ipsm dolorem placeholder text lorem ipsm dolorem placeholder text lorem ipsm dolorem placeholder text lorem ipsm dolorem placeholder text lorem ipsm dolorem placeholder text lorem ipsm dolorem

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


greeva bheda viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for your neck)

sundhareecha thirascheena thathaiva-parivarthitha parakampithacha bhavagnai neya greeva chathurvitha sundhareecha

to move (only) your neck to the sides

thirascheena

to do the same as above, diagonally

thathaiva- parivarthitha

to push your neck forward (diagonal)

parakampithacha- bhavagnai

to move your neck back and front

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


sundaree greeva viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for sundaree)

snehaarambay thathayathnay samyagarthay cha visthruthay sarasathvaanumodhey cha saagreevaa sundaree mathaa snehaarambay

the budding of love

thathayathnay

to exert effort

samyagarthay

contentment

visthruthay

to denote width

sarasathvaanumodhey

to approve with joy

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


thirascheena greeva viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for thirascheena)

kadgashramay sarpagathyam thirascheenaa prayujyathay kadgashramay

to exercise one’s sword skills

sarpagathyam

the gliding of a snake

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


parivartha greeva viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for parivartha)

sringaaranatanay kaabthakapola-dwayachunbanay naatithanthra-vichaaragnaihee prayojyaa parivarthithaa sringaaranatanay

to dance with graceful movements

kaabthakapola-dwayachunbanay

greet a lover with two cheek kisses

naatithanthra-vichaaragnaihee

to know the secret of dancing

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


prakampitha greeva viniyogaha (all possible eye gestures for prakampitha)

yushmadhasamaadithi prokthay deshinaatya visheshathaahaa dholaayaam manithechaiva prayokthavyaa praakampithaa yushmadhasamaadithi prokthay

to say “we”

deshinaatya

a folk dance

visheshathaahaa

to speak of, explain about

dholaayaam

to swing (or swinging movement)

manithechaiva

the sound of (conjugal) murmuring

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Single Handed Gestures

Single handed gestures are the key to understanding a Bharatanatyam performance. To understand the meaning of the first shloka itself is enough to change one’s perspective on a dance performance. It is the vocabulary to the language of Bharatanatyam; each gesture is defined. The hand is made to resemble concrete objects like a table- to abstract objects like pining for love- to living objects like a girl- to actions like fixing one’s hair. The term used to refer to the single handed gestures in Sanskrit is asamyuktha hastas.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


asamyuktha hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures)

Pathaakas Tripathaako Ardhapathaka Kartharimukhaha Mayoorasyo Ardhachandrascha Araala Shukathundakaha Mushtischa Shikarakyascha Kapitha Katakaamukaha Soochi Chandrakalaa Padmakosha Sarpashirasthatha Mrugasheersha Simhamukaha Kangoolascha Alapadmakaha Chathuroo Bhramarascheiva Hamsaasyo Hamsapakshakaha Sandaamsho Mukulaschaiva Thaamrachooda Trishulakaha

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


pathaakas tripathaako ardhapathaka kartharimukhaha mayoorasyo ardhachandrascha araala shukathundakaha mushtischa shikarakyascha kapitha katakaamukaha soochi chandrakalaa padmakosha sarpashirasthatha mrugasheersha simhamukaha kangoolascha alapadmakaha chathuroo bhramarascheiva hamsaasyo hamsapakshakaha sandaamsho mukulaschaiva thaamrachooda trishulakaha

flag a flag with three parts half mast scissors peacock half moon small vessel parrot head fist mountain peak wood apple (fruit) bangle (to wear) needle crescent moon a lotus or its bud snake head deer head the face of a lion bell bloomed lotus square, the number four bee swan’s beak swan wings any repetitive action bud of a flower cock’s plume trident or the number three

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


pathaaka hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for pathaka)

naatyarambe varivaahey vanay vathunishethaney kuchasthaley nishaayaamcha nadhyaam amaramandaley thurangey kandanay vaayo shaayane gamanoshyamey prathaapecha prasaadheycha chandrikaayam ghanadhapey kavatapaateney sapthavibhakthyarthey tharangakey veethipraveshabhaavepi samathvecha angaarakey aathmarthey shapthaychapee thoshneem bhava Nidharshnay thaalapathraycha kaydaycha dravya disparshaneththa aashirvaadakriyayamcha nripasrestasyabhaavanay thathrathathrecthi vachaney siduvtoo sukrudikramay sambhoodhanay puroogaypee kadgaroopasya-dhaaranay maasay samvathsaray varshdhinay sammaarjanaythathaa yevamardhesu yujyanthay pathaakahasta bhaavanaha

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


naatyarambe

the starting posture of dance

varivaahey

storm clouds

vanay

forests

vathunishethaney

to say no or to oavoid

kuchasthaley

chest

nishaayaamcha

a gloomy or ominous night

nadhyaam

river

amaramandaley

the heavens

thurangey

horse

kandanay

to ignore

vaayo

wind

shaayane

to rest or sleep

gamanoshyamey

to walk with effort

prathaapecha

to go into raptures over

prasaadheycha

to give blessings

chandrikaayam

the light of the moon

ghanadhapey

intolerable, agonizing, unbearable

kavatapaateney

to close doors, to open doors

sapthavibhakthyarthey

to present examples to prove a point

tharangakey

water ripples

veethipraveshabhaavepi

the act of entering into the street

samathvecha

to remind someone of equality

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


angaarakey

denoting the body

aathmaarthey

to show one’s self

shapthaychaapee

to take an oath

thooshneem –bhaava-nidharshnay

to be silent

thaalapathraycha

to write (on a palm leaf)

kaydaycha

a (or to) shield

dravya disparshanethatha

to touch things

ashirvaadakriyayamcha

to bless

nripasrestasyabhaavanay

to speak of the emperor

thathrathathrecthi vachaney

this or that

siduvtoo

waves

sukrudikramay

to do well (be healthy or safe)

sambhoodhanay

to address

puroogaypee

to progress or move ahead

kadga

sword

roopasya

one’s’ body or form

dhaaranay

to wear

maasay

month

samvathsaray

year

varshdhinay

rainy day

sammaarjanaythathaa

to sweep

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


tripathaaka hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for tripathaka)

makutay vrukshabhaaveshu vajray thaththara-vaasavay kaythakee-kusumay deepay vanhijwaal-vijrumbhanay Kapoothay pathralaykhaayam bhanaarthay parivarthakay yujyathay tripathaakooyam kathithoo bharathoothamaihee

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


makutay

a crown

vrukshabhaaveshu

a tree with branches

vajray

a thunder bolt

thaththara-vaasavay

Lord Indra

kaythakee-kusumay

screwpine flower34

deepay

lamp

vanhijwaal-vijrumbhanay

to create a fire

kapoothay

a pigeon

pathralaykhaayam

to draw or design

bhanaarthay

to aim and shoot an arrow

parivarthakay

to make circular movements

34

The screwpine flower is known for its fragrance. Myth logically, the flower is known for not being used for any form of worship, as it lied to Lord Shiva to support Lord Brahma’s false claims.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


ardhapathaka hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for ardhapathaka)

pallavay palakay theeray ubhayoorithivaachakay krakakchay churikaayaamcha dwajay gopura-sringayoohoo yujyathay ardhapathaakooyam thathakarmaprayoogakay

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


pallavay

leaves (that are tender, new)

palakay

a wooden plank

theeray

the river bank

ubhayoorithivaachakay

the number two (or a duo)

krakakchay

saw

churikaayaamcha

small knife

dhwajay

flag

gopura

tower

sringayoohoo

horns

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


kartharee hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for kartharee)

sthreepum-sayoosthu-vishlayshey viparyaasapadeypivaa luntanay nayanaamtheycha maranay bhedabhaavanay vidhyudarthey ekashaiya-virahay pathanaythatha lathaayam yujathay yasthu sakara karthareemukhaha

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


sthreepum-sayoosthu-vishlayshey

the difference between genders

viparyaasapadeypivaa

to compare this and that

luntanay

to roll

nayanaamtheycha

one’s eye corners

maranay

death

bhedabhaavana

to argue a difference of opinion

vidhyudarthey

lightening

yekashaiya-virahay

to pine for your lover while in bed

pathnaythatha

to fall down or trip

lathaayam

creeper (plant)

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


mayura hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for mayura)

mayuraasyay lathaayaamcha shakunay vamanaythathaa alakasyaapanayanay lalaata-thilakay-sucha nadhyudakasya-niksheypay shaastravaaday prasidhakay yevamardhyeshu yujyanthay mayurakara-bhaavanaahaa

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


mayuraasyay

peacock

lathaayaamcha

creeper (plant)

shakunay

bird

vamanaythathaa

the act of vomiting

alakasyaapanayanay

to comb one’s hair

lalaata-thilakay-sucha

to put on a bindhi35

nadhyudakasya-niksheypay

sprinkling water

shaastravaaday

discussing the ancient texts

prasidhakay

(describing someone as) popular

35

A bindhi is also known as a pottu—it is the traditional sacred mark that Hindu women wear on their forehead.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


ardhachandra hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for ardhachandra)

chandray krishnaashtamee-bhaajee galahastaartha-kaypicha ballaayudhay devathaanam-abishechanakarmani bukpaathray cha udbhavay katyaam chinthaayaam aathmavaachakay dhyaanaycha praarthnaychaapee angaanamsparshnaythathaa praakruthaanaam-namaskaaray ardachandrooniyujyathay

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


chandray

the moon

krishnaashtamee-bhaajee

eight days after the full moon

galahastaartha-kaypicha

to choke someone

ballaayudhay

weapon

devathaanam-abishechanakarmani

God’s offerings (blessings)

bukpaathray

eating plate

udbhavay

birth

katyaam

waist

chinthaayaam

to worry

aathmavaachakay

musing about yourself

dhyaanaycha

meditations

praarthnaychaapee

prayers

angaanamsparshnaythathaa

to touch one’s own limbs

praakruthaanaam-namaskaaray

to greet people

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


araala hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for araala)

Vishaadyaam-amrutha-paanayshu Prachanda-pavanaypicha vishaadyaam

poison

amrutha

nectar

paanayshu

to drink

prachanda-pavanaypicha

violent winds

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


shukathunda hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for shukathinda)

Bhaanaprayogay-kunthaarthay Vaalayasyas-smrithikramay Marmookthyam Ugrabhaavaychu Shukathundooniyujyathay bhaanaprayogay

shooting an arrow

kunthaarthay

a spear

vaalayasyas-smrithikramay

the act of remembering the past

marmookthyam

to utter mystic things

ugrabhaavaychu

great anger

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


mushti hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for mushti)

sthiray kachagarahay daartyeh vasthvaadeenaamcha-dharanay mallaanam yudha bhaavaypee mushtihasthoya mishyathay sthiray

to be steady

kachagarahay

grasping someone’s hair

daartyeh

courage

vasthvaadeenaamcha-dharanay

holding things

mallaanam yudha bhaavaypee

to be riled up to fight

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


shikara hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for shikara)

madahanay kaarmukay sthambhay nishchayay pithrukarmani oshtray pravishtaroopacha radhany prashnabhaavanay lingay naastheethivachanay smaranay abhinayaanthikay katibhandaakarshanaycha parirambha-vidikramay gantaaninaadhay shikaroo yujyathay bharathaadibhi

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


madahanay kaarmukay sthambhay nishchayay pithrukarmani oshtray pravishtaroopacha radhany prashnabhaavanay lingay naastheethivachanay smaranay abhinayaanthikay katibhandaakarshanaycha parirambha-vidikramay gantaaninaadhay

god of love bow pillar certainty offering to ancestors lips to pour liquid teeth questioning shiva lingam/ phallic symbol to not know recollection to express to tighten a waist band embracing sounding a bell

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


kapitha hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for kapitha)

Lakshmyamcheiva Saraswathyam Nataanaam Thaala-dhaaranay Godhohanay Pranjanaycha Leelakusuma-dhaaranay Chelaanchalaadi-grahanay Patasyaivaava-gutanay Dhoopa-deeparchanay-chaapee Kapitha-samprayujyathay

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


lakshmyamcheiva

Goddess Lakshmi

saraswathyam

Goddess Saraswati

nataanaam thaala-daresay

to hold cymbals

godhohanay

to milk a cow

pranjanaycha

to cleanse one’s eyes

leelakusuma-daresay

to hold a flower while in love

chelaanchalaadi-grahanay

grasping the end of the saree

patasyaivaava-gutanay

to wrap one’s head

dhoopa-deeparchanay-chaapee

offering incense/ light

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


katakamukaha hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for katakamukaha)

kusumaavachayeh mukthaa-sragdhanaam dharanay-thathaa sharamdhya-karshanaycha naagavallipradhaanakay kasthoori-kadivasthanoonaam payshanay gandhavasanay vachanay drushti-bhaavaypee katakaamukaha ishyathay

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


kusumaavachayeh

plucking flowers

mukthaa-sragdhaamnaam

a pearl necklace

dharanay-thathaa

to wear

sharamdhya-karshanaycha

drawing the middle of a box

naagavallipradhaanakay

to offer betal leaves

kasthoori-kadivasthanoonaam

preparing musk paste

payshanay

to mix

gandhavasanay

to smell

vachanay

to speak

drushti-bhaavaypee

to glance

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


soochi hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for soochi)

yehkaarthaypee parabarhma bhaavanaayaam shaathaypicha ravav nagaryaam lookarthay thathythi vachanaypicha yachabday-api-thachabdhay vijanaarthapi tharjanay kaarshyeh shalaakay vapushi aashcharyeh venibhaavanay chathray samarthay paanavcha roomallyaam bherivaadhanay kulaalachakra-baramanay rathaanga-mandalaythathaa viveychanay dinaanthaycha soochi-hasta prakeerthithaha

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


yehkaarthaypee

to denote a number

parabrahma bhaavanaayaam

the supreme soul; Brahma

shaathaypicha

to denote one hundred

ravav

the sun

nagaryaam

a city

lookarthay

to refer to the world

thathythi vachanaypicha

to show someone, “like that”.

yachabday-api-thachabdhay

to question “this or that?”

vijanaarthapi

a lonely place

tharjanay

to threaten somebody

kaarshyeh

to grow thin

shalaakay

a thorn

vapushi

one’s body

aashcharyeh

to show astonishment

venibhaavanay

to display your hair

chathray

an umbrella

samarthay

one’s capability

paanavcha

hands

roomallyaam

to refer to your eyebrows

bherivaadhanay

to play the drums

kulaalachakra-baramanay

a potter’s wheel

rathaanga-mandalaythathaa

the circumference of a wheel

viveychanay

to ponder

dinaanthaycha

the end of the day

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


chandrakalaa hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for chandrakalaa)

chandrey mukeycha praadheyshey thanmaathra kaara vasthuni shivasya makutay ganganaadhyamcha lagudaypicha yeshaam chandrakalachaiva viniyodhyaa vidhiyathe chandrey

the moon

mukeycha

one’s face

praadheyshey

a measurement; circa three inches

thanmaathra kaaravasthuni

two objects with the same shape

shivasya makutay

the crown of Lord Shiva

ganganaadhyamcha

the river Ganges

lagudaypicha

an axe

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


padmakosha hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for padmakosha)

phalay bilvakapiththaadhuv sthreenaamcha kucha-kummbayoohoo aavarthakay kanthukay sthaalyaam bhojanay pushpakoorakay sahakaaraphalay pushpa-varshey manjarikaadishu japakusumabhavecha gantaaroopey vidhaanake valmeekay kamalay pyanday padmakoosha videeyathay

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


phalay bilvakapiththaadhuv

to denote a wood apple

sthreenaamcha kucha-kummbayoohoo

to refer to the breast of a lady

aavarthakay

movements that are circular

kanthukay

the act of playing ball

sthaalyaam

a pot

bhojanay

to eat; consume

pushpakoorakay

a flower garland

sahakaaraphalay

a mango fruit

pushpa-varshey

the divine showering of flowers

manjarikaadishu

a bunch of flowers

japakusumabhavecha

to denote a hibiscus flower

gantaaroopey

a bell

vidhaanake

the image of god

valmeekay

to denote an ant hill

kamalay

a lotus

pyanday

an egg

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


sarpashirasthatha hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for sarpashirasthatha)

chandanay bhujagay mandray prookshanay pooshanaadishu devasyoo-dakadaanayshu aaspahalaygajakumbhayoohoo bhujasthaanaythu-mallaanaam yujyathay sarpasheershaka chandanay

the paste of sandal wood

bhujagay

a snake

mandray

to denote a low pitch

prookshanay

the act of sprinkling

pooshanaadishu

to nourish; nourishing

devasyoo-dakadaanayshu

offerings to god

aaspahalay

to pat someone encouragingly

gajakumbhayoohoo

protrusions on an elephant’s head

bhujasthaanaythu-mallaanaam

the muscle on a wrestler’s arm

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


mrugasheersha hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for mrugasheersha)

sthreenamarthey kapoolaucha chakra-maryaadhayoorapee bheethyam vivaaday naypathyeh aavahanaycha thrupundrakay mrugamukay rangavallyaam paadasamvahanay thathaa sanchaaraycha priyahvaanay yujyathay mrugasheershakaha

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


kapoolaucha

to denote cheeks

chakra

wheels of a vehicle

maryaadhayoorapee

to show or refer to a particular limit

bheethyam

to be frightened, or to be fearsome

vivaaday

to discuss

naypathyeh

to dress up; to adorn a costume

aavahanaycha

to call

thrupundrakay

to mark one’s forehead

mrugamukay

the face of a deer

rangavallyaam

to paint the floor with rice flour (called kolams)

paadasamvahanay

to massage feet

sanchaaraycha

to denote moving; to walk or step.

Priyahvaanay

to call one’s beloved

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


simhamukaha hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for simhamukaha)

homay shashey gajey dharbachalanay padmadaamini simhaananey vaidhyapaakay shodhanay samprayujyathay homay

the act of performing a yaga, a fire sacrifice

shashey

the animal, a hare

gajey

the animal, an elephant

dharbachalanay

to move a blade grass

padmadaamini

a garland of lotuses

simhaananey

the face of a lion

vaidhyapaakay

to prepare medicine

shodhanay

to test; the act of testing

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


kangoola hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for kangoola)

lakuchasyapalay balakingkinyaam gantikaarthakay chakooray kramukay balakuchay kalhaarakaythathaa chaathakay naalikeyreycha kangooloo yujyathay karaha lakuchasyapalay

to denote a fruit

balakingkinyaam

little bells worn by children

gantikaarthakay

a bell, generic kind

chakooray

a bird, usually a partridge

kramukay

a betalnut tree

balakuchay

the breast of a young woman

kalhaarakaythathaa

a white water lily

chaathakay

to denote a bird

naalikeyreycha

a coconut tree

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


alapadma hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for alapadma)

vikachaabjey kapithaadhiphaley chavarthakay kuchey virahey mukuray poornachandrey sowndarya bhaavanay dhamiley Chandrashaalaayam graamey chodhruthakopayaho thatakey shatakey chakravakay kalakalaravey slaganey soolapadmascha kathitho bharathogamay

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


vikachaabjey

a lotus in full bloom

kapithaadhiphaley

a wood apple

chavarthakay

to denote movements that are circular in nature

kuchey

to refer to breasts

virahey

separation from one’s beloved

mukuray

a mirror

poornachandrey

a full moon

sowndarya bhaavanay

to show beauty

dhamiley

to tie a hair knot

Chandrashaalaayam

a tower

graamey

to denote a village

chodhruthakopayaho

to show great anger

thatakey

a pond

shatakey

a cart

chakravakay

to delineate any bird

kalakalaravey

a murmuring sound

slaganey

the act of praising

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


chathura hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for chathura)

kasthuryam kinchidhartheycha swarney thaamrey cha lohakey aardey kaydhey rasaasvadhey lochaney vamabhedhaney pramaney sarasey mandhagamanay shakaleekruthey ananey druthailaadav yujyathey chathurahakaraha

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


kasthuryam

to refer to musk

kinchidhartheycha

to denote a little

swarney

the metal gold

thaamrey

the metal copper

lohakey

the metal iron

aardey

to be wet

kaydhey

to be sorrowful

rasaasvadhey

to refer to taste

lochaney

to denote one’s eyes

vamabhedhaney

to show the difference between castes

pramaney

a vow

sarasey

the sweetness of something

mandhagamanay

to walk slowly

shakaleekruthey

to pierce

ananey

one’s face

druthailaadav

cooking oil

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


bhramari hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for bhramari)

bhramarecha shukay pakshay saarasey kokiladhishoo bhramarakyascha hasthoyam kathitho barathogamay bhramarecha

a bee

shukay

a parrot

pakshay

the wings of a bird

saarasey

a crane

kokiladhishoo

a bird, usually referring to a cuckoo

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


hamsasya hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for hamsasya)

maangaleya soothrabandhe cha upadesha-vinishchaye romanchay moukthikaadhou cha deepavarth-prasaranay nikashey mallikathou-cha chithre thalaykanaythatha dhamsheycha jalavandhey cha hamsaasyo ujyathe karaha

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


maangaleya soothrabandhe

to tie the marriage knot

upadesha

to instruct

vinishchaye

to say with conviction or

romanchay

horripilate

moukthikaadhou

a necklace of pearls

deepavarth-prasaranay

the wick (of a lamp)

nikashey

goose bumps

mallikathou

fragrant flowers

chithre

painting

thalaykanaythatha

to paint (or draw)

dhamsheycha

to bite or chew

jalavandhey

a dam (literally, to close)

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


hamsapaksha hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for hamsapaksha)

shath-sankyaayam sethubandhey nakaraay kanganeythatha pidhaane hamsapakshoyam kathitho bharathagamay shath-sankyaayam

number six

sethubandhey

to construct a bridge

nakaraay kanganeythatha

to scratch

pidhaane

attempting to hide or cover

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


sandamsho hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for sandamsho)

udharey balidhaneycha vrane keete mahabhaye archanay panchasankyaayaam sandhamshakyoni yujyathay udharey

stomach

balidhaneycha

offerings (usually to deities)

vrane

a wound (or to be wounded)

keete

a worm (or like motion)

mahabhaye

fear

archanay

to worship

panchasankyaayaam

number five

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


mukula hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for mukula)

kumuthey bhoojane pancha-baane mudraadhi-dharanay naabhavcha kadalipushpay ujyathey mukulakaraha kumuthey

a water lily

bhoojane

eating

pancha-baane

Manmadha’s arrow36

mudraadhi-dharanay

tattoo

naabhavcha

one’s naval

kadalipushpay

the flower of a plantain plant

36

Manmadha is the Lord of Love. His arrow is said to be made of five flowers.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


thaamrachuta hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for thamrachuta)

kukutaadhou bhakay kaakay yushtray vaathsay cha lekhanay yujyathay thaamrachootakyo karo-bharathathibihi kukutaadhou

bird (cock)

bhakay

bird (crane)

kaakay

bird (crow)

yushtray

camel

vaathsay

calf

lekhanay

an instrument used to write

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


trishula hasta viniyogaha (all possible hand gestures for trishula)

bivlapathray thrivayukthey trishulakara yirithaha bivlapathray

Bael (Bilva) tree leaves

thrivayukthey

three (or to denote a trinity)

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Double Handed Gestures

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Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


samyuktha hasta viniyoga (all possible double handed gestures)

anjalischa kapothascha karkata swasthikasthatha dolaahastha pushpaputaha utsanga shivalingakaha katakaavardhanaschaiva karthari-swasthikasthatha shakatam shankha chakrecha samputa pasha kilakaou matsya koormoh varaahascha garudo naagabandhakaha katva-berundakaakhasya avahithastha-thaivacha

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


anjalischa

salutations

kapothascha

pidgeon

karkata

crab

swasthikasthatha

crossed mark, auspiciousness

dolaahastha

relaxed hand posture

pushpaputaha

basket holding flowers

utsanga

one’s shoulders

shivalingakaha

a Shiva linga

katakaavardhanaschaiva

two katakas in swasthi (crossed)

karthari swasthikasthatha

two kartharis in swasthi (crossed)

shakatam

a demon’s teeth

shankha

conch

chakrecha

wheel

samputa

box

pasha

rope or enmity

kilakaou

link (bond) or affection

matsya

fish

koormoh

tortoise

varaahasya

boar

garudo

eagle

naagabandhakaha

two snakes that are twisted together

katva

cot

berundakaakhasya

mythical double-headed bird

avahithastha-thaivacha

to hold two objects in your hand

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


anjali hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for anjali)

devathaa guruvipraanaam namaskaray shvanukramaath karyaahah shiromukho raasthu viniyogay anjalir budheihi devathaa

(to) God*

guru

(to) your teacher*

vipraanaam

(to) a Brahmin*

namaskaray

to bow*37

karyaahah

(performing) an action

shiromukho

near your face

37 *

In the context of the shloka, the sentence reads: “To bow to either God, your teacher or a Brahmin.” © Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


kapotha hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for kapotha)

pranaamay gurusambhaashay viniyaagi-krutheyshvayam pranaamay

to offer one’s subservience

gurusambhaashay

to discuss with your teacher

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


karkata hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for karkata)

samoohagamanay thundha-dharshanay shankapooranay angaanaam-mootanay shaakon-namanaycha-niyujyathe samoohagamanay

a group moving together

thundha-dharshanay

to denote a stomach

shankapooranay

to blow a conch

angaanaam- mootanay

to stretch your limbs

shaakon-namanaycha-niyujyathe

to pull on a branch

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


swasthika hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for swasthika)

samyogayna swasthi-kaakhyo makaray viniyujyathay samyogayna

the act of joining together

swasthi-kaakhyo

to do (with a sense of auspiciousness)

makaray

a crocodile

dola hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for dola)

naatyaarambhey prayukthavya yathi-naatya-vidhoo-vidhuhu naatyaarambhey

beginning posture of dance

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


pushpaputaha hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for pushpaputaha)

niraanjanavidhou vaari-phalaadi-grahanaypichaa santhyaayaam-adhyadhaanecha manthra-pushpay cha ujyathay niraanjanavidhou

to illuminate a Sanctum Sanctorum

vaari-phalaadi-grahanaypichaa

holding water, fruits or the like

santhyaayaam-adhyadhaanecha

to offer something (usually to God)

manthra-pushpay

a magical flower

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


uthsanga hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for uthsanga)

aalinganaycha lajyaayaam-angadhaadhi pradharshanay baaalanaam-shikshanay chayamutsangu ujyathey-karaha aalinganaycha

the act of embracing

lajyaayaam

to be shy

angadhaadhi pradharshanay

to describe a body

baaalanaam-shikshanay

to nurse a baby

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


shivalinga hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for shivalinga) viniyogasthu thasyaiva shivalingasya dharshanay shivalingasya dharshanay

to denote a Shivalinga

katakavardhana hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for katakavardhana) pattabhishaikey poojaayaam vivaahaadishu yujyathay pattabhishaikey

to crown someone

poojaayaam

to perform a pooja (a ritualistic prayer)

vivaahaadishu

marriage

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


karthariswasthika hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for karthariswasthika) shakashu cha adrishikaray vriksheyshu cha niyujathey shakashu

a branch

adrishikaray

a summit

vriksheyshu

a tree

shakata hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for shakata) rakshasa-abhinaye praayaha shakatu viniyujyathey rakshasa-abhinaye

to speak of a demon (or an evil person)

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


shanka hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for shanka) shankaadishu prayojyoyaa mithyaahur bharathaadhayaha shankaadishu

to denote using a conch (usually to declare the legal beginning of a war or attract someone’s attention)

chakra hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for chakra) chakrahasta sa vinayehyascha charaarthay viniyujyathay chakrahasta

a wheel

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


samputa hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for samputa) vasthvachadhay samputaycha samputa kara yirithatha vasthvachadhay samputaycha

to cover or hide something a box

pasha hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for pasha) anoyonyakalahay paashay srunkalaayaanam niyujyathay anoyonyakalahay paashay srunkalaayaanam

a fight between two lovers a rope a chain

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


keelakouv hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for keelakouv) anoyonyakalahay paashay srunkalaayaanam niyujyathay anoyonyakalahay paashay srunkalaayaanam

a fight between two lovers a rope a chain

keelakouv hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for keelakouv) snehay narmaanulaapaycha keelakouv viniyujyathay snehay narmaanulaapaycha

affection the conversation between two people in love

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


matsya hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for matsya) yehthasya vinyogasthu sammatho matsya darshanay matsya darshaay

(to notice a passing) fish

koorma hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for koorma) koorma hasta sa vigneyah koormaarthay viniyujyathay koorma

a tortoise

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


varaha hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for varaha) yehthasya viniyoga syaadvaraaharatha pradarshanay syaadvaraaharatha

a wild boar

garuda hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for garuda) garudahasthacha yithyaahur garudaarthay viniyujyathay garudahasthacha

an eagle

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


naagabhanda hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for naagabhanda) yethasya viniyogasthu naagabhanday hi sammathaha naagabhanday

a couple of snakes

katvaa hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for katvaa) katvaahastoo bhaveydesha katvaa-shivikayoo smruthaha katvaahastoo

a cot

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


berundaka hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for berundaka) bherundo pakshi-dhumbhathyoo nerundo yujyathay karaha

bherundo pakshi-dhumbhathyoo

a mythological two headed bird a pair of birds

avahitha hasta viniyoga (all possible gestures for avahitha) sringara-natanay cheiva leelaa-kandhuka-dhaaranay kuchaarthay yujyathay avahitha-karkovidhuho

sringara-natanay leelaa-kandhuka kuchaarthay

to dance gracefully, while displaying (erotic) love playing with a ball breasts

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


margam a typical dance performance includes: Alarippu Usually the shortest piece and an invocation, it is known for being fast paced and simple. This piece is the dancer’s way of welcoming the audience, the teacher and the orchestra. It is often regarded to be a warm-up of sorts—the dancer’s rigorous small but powerful introduction prepares the body for the typically hours long performances. The emphasis for this piece is thus on foot work and body movement (aangika abhinaaya) over displaying intense emotions. Alarippu has three stages—the speed increasing as it goes. It is usually around three to five minutes. The music that it is set for is usually heavy. It is only a modern practice to have the alarippu succeed a Pushpanjali or Kouthuvam—it used to be the first item in a margam. The Alarippu has no lyrical counterpart.

Kouthuvam This piece is also invocatory in nature and became popular circa 16th century. . The etymology is believed to stem from the Kathak (another form of dance) term kavi + thvam; it literally translated into “to pray via music”. One of the most popular types is the panchamoorthy kauthuvam (literally translated into ‘the five Gods’- namely Lord Vinayaga, Lord Subramania, Lord Sambanthar, Lord © Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Chandikeshwara and Lord Nataraja). The other (less known) category is the navashanthi kouthuvam. The modern dancer is most likely to perform a Ganesha kouthuvam, Subramania kouthuvam or a Nataraja kouthuvam. The kouthuvam usually has a small poetic lyrical interlude.

Thodayamangalam The thodayamangalam and the kouthavam are very similar—perhaps the only difference lying in the fact that the latter usually begins at a slower speed and slowly picks up pace. The thodayamangalam also has a small poetic lyrical interlude.

Jathiswaram This piece is usually the second in a performance, and is relatively hard. It is believed to have evolved from the form yathinritha- an old section that was mainly rhythmic. Although it has no lyrical counterpart, musical notes are sung in the same intervals that the dancer is expected to dance along. This piece usually does not have any display of intense emotion. The dancer’s knowledge and comfort with regards to thala (rhythm) is usually judged off of their accuracy in this piece.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Swarajathi The ratio of rhythm to music is slowly increasing; the swarajathi is a piece where the dancer begins to delineate emotions. Musical notes now have begun to replace the vocal sounding out of rhythm and beats, and the alternating lines are lyrics to which the dancer expresses his or her interpretation of the words. When compared to the previous pieces, the amount of vigorous movement is comparatively lower—some scholars argue that the order was thus changed as a way to give the dancer a break.

Sabdam The sabdam and the swarajathi share a similar relationship as the thodayamangalam and kouthuvam do—they are quite similar and often replace each other. The only difference between a sabdam and a swarajathi is that the latter sounds out the rhthym aspect (jathi) whereas a swarajathi uses musical notes. Unlike the swarajathi, the sabdam has a motif--love (or admiration).The sabdam is also a relatively slower piece and therefore may have been placed as such in order to give the dancer a small break of sorts to prepare the dancer for the succeeding difficult piece.

© Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Varnam Padam Javali Thillana

Š Ganavya Doraiswamy. SRAI Thesis: “An Anthropological discussion of how Indian Dance may reflect changed in Indian Society. Any form of reproduction is prohibited.


Halfwaythere