Bharatanatyam Adavus – The Complete Guide to Learning Steps

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Bharatanatyam Adavus – The Complete Guide to Learning Steps

Bharatanatyam adavus are the basic dance steps that form the foundation of this Indian classical dance. Each Adavu has a specific name and is performed in a special way. There are different types of advus, each with a different purpose. For example, Korvai Adavus are used to create patterns on the floor, while Nritta Adavus displays the rhythmic skill of the dancer. As you learn Bharatanatyam, mastering a variety of exercises is essential. Only then will you be able to execute the dance movements with grace and precision. With regular practice, you will be able to perform the most complex dance steps flawlessly. So what are you waiting for? Start your Bharatanatyam journey today and explore the world of Adavus!

The uniqueness of a dance form is what makes it unique. In Bharatanatyam, these very important moves need to be learned to perfection and are taught using “Tala”. The core component of learning Indian dance is developed through the basic combination between movements from different parts of your body when each is performed according to a ‘tala’.

Adavus of Bharatanayām



Tatta Adavu

Tatta is a word with many meanings, but in this adavu we are taught the Bharatanatyam way of leg tapping. This style involves only using your legs rather than all four limbs like other styles do- it’s more advanced!

Natta Adavu

The adavu in “Natta” means to stretch and so it involves some stretching compared with the tatte adavus we explored earlier. And as opposed to Tanta’davao, this one has heel contacts of your feet during performance which gives rise for word “Nattu” (stretch) also referring perching on heels.

Visharu Adavu

Visharada is a technique that involves swinging of hands in different directions, such as sideways and up-and down. The legs should move straight forward without any side to it for this adavu posture – also called Mardita Adavu or Paraval Adavu (depending on where you are located).

Tatti Metti Adavu

“Tatti” means to tap (like in “Tattaadavu,” foot taps) and “Metti” means a heel contact with the floor. For “Metti” one must first be on the toes (either a jump on the toes or just striking a toe) and then flatten the feet while the toes are already firm on the ground.

Tirumanam Adavu

The steps in these adavus are used to end a dance sequence or jathis. It is done by performing the same three actions over again, at fast pace ieDhrutakala style (a type of traditional music). The bols or syllables for this avu would be “Dhit-dhi’tai” while some schools also use ‘Gi Na Tom’ as an ending sound effect before switching back into normal conversation modes after having said it once each time through successfully completing their task without error!

Murka Adavu

In a spiritual context, Sutral refers to the sense of whirling or circular motion. It’s also called MurkuAdavu and is performed with four hands: pataka (pat-ka), katakamukha(huge face mask) Alapadpa(parting gesture). The Bol of this ada’vum involves tataitamdhitaitama etc., while its hand gestures used in performing it are shikhara – which means “like flower”, dabukameanignput together”.

Jati Adavu

Bharatanatyam is that there are five Jaatis. Every jaati is denoted by a set of syllables. They are:

  • The Tishra
  • Chatushra
  • Khanda
  • Mishra
  • Sankeerna

Kuditametta Adavu

This basic step is characterized by first jumping and then striking with the heels on floor. These moves are done sitting in araimanda position which gives it an elegant look.

Mandi Adavu

Mandi meaning knee are one of the most beautiful but toughest Adavus. The student will be able to perform this exercise in three different speeds.

Sarikal Adavu

In the sarikal posture, one foot is lifted while sliding his/her other along. This position can be found in many Indian dances such as Bharatnatyam and it’s called tadittam Sarikal means to slide. Here as one foot is lifted and placed the another foot slides towards it. Then the feet takes the Anchita position where the feet rests on the heel.

Origin of Bharatanatyam Adavu



The history of Bharatanatyam can be traced back to around 500 BCE, when the ancient society of India first developed with the Rigveda, a collection of songs and rituals from 1500–1200 BCE written in Sanskrit by an unknown author. who were probably mostly followers of Hinduism. Those who wished they lived for generations after they died or forgot how it all began because of religious conversions over time, which led to many converting to different religions, which led to their core beliefs. Very few documents left. Only stories passed down orally have been passed down to date.

Importance of learning Bharatanatyam Adavu

Learning the basics of dances in Bharatanatyam is a must for any dancer. These moves prepare a person’s body and mind to learn new techniques, as well as develop their stamina, ability with leg movement or posture, while dancing gracefully without making mistakes!
In the semi-sitting position, a dancer’s knee is so bent that his other hand can easily perform various postures and steps. Adavus are the basic foundation of Bharatanatyam, each with a different function. They are displayed as a hierarchical series, starting with simple movements and progressing to more complex ones.

Three speed of Adavus

The Adavus is a series of steps that form the foundation of many Indian dances. Dancers’ foot and leg movements, standing posture while dancing, as well as their body movements can be found within this structure called angasudha which means “corrective.” Formation of this part is another term used to describe various aspects like Chal (walking), Marudu Mandala (Standing), ChitraSadhanaNaad, an art or a work skillfully done with feet.

Armandi also refers to this pose when it says “basic pose” in Bharatanatyamadvadas which means that you must start on your feet at least once before moving on to other positions or movements during any performance.

The three movements of the Adavus are known as “Kalams”. These need to be practiced in sequence. First, one must learn how it feels and looks like when they slow them down then in mid tempo eventually speed up making their movements more accurate.
The dancer needs to practice doing this step correctly because there is no way to be comfortable with each one if you want the quality dance of your performance.

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