The Basics Of Bharatanatyam (3N)

July 21st, 2007 by Anjali

Today I would like to step a bit back and explore the basics of Bharatanatyam. As you may know, Bharatanatyam is generally referred to have three distinct streams or aspects:

Nritta, Nrittya and Natya

For quick recall, we can refer to them as the 3N s of the dance form. What does each of them represent?

Nritta is pure dance or sequences of dance that are non interpretative in nature. This means that these steps, movements or gestures are not meant to convey any message or thought. They are primarily meant to add beauty to the dance form. Adavus (described earlier) form the basic component of Nritta.

Nrittya on the other hand is an interpretative dance and involves a lot of sentiments, emotions and description. The gestures in this stream convey messages like depicting a king, indicating that it is morning time etc. This consists of leg, hand, neck, head and eye movements to convey the message.

Natya is dance drama and its main technique is Abhinaya. It involves acting out a story for the audience using expressions. Also the actors may dress like the character. Natya is usually performed with a mythologial theme, like on the stories of Ramayana or Krishnaleela, etc. For eg. This would involve enacting parts of Ramayana or Mahabharata.

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39 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Melissa Jun 3, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Namaskar Anjali!
    Just wondering if you have plans to include here some notions of Carnactic Music. As a western, it is difficult sometimes to understand notios like tala, raga, as there are same items with different talas/ragas. For example, Tishram Alarippu, Mishram Alarippu, etc and Kalyani Jathiswaram, Saraswati Jathiswaram.
    Is there a good book/site to understand Carnactic music, like an idiot’s guide? hehe
    So many thanx as usual

  • 2 Anjali Jun 3, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Melissa, It will not be right on my part to explain these notion since I am not trained in carnatic music. I am in the process of learning it. I have come across a site that might help every body who are willing to understand these concepts. http://musicinfoguide.blogspot.com/search/label/Talam. I found the explanation very simple and easy for people like us.

  • 3 Vandana Jun 17, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Anjali

    Am vandana and am in USA at present.,.. Am very much interested in dance and music…. Can u help me out in letting me know abt the online courses on bharathanatyam…. I would like to learn Bharathanatyam thru online…..

    Thanks

    Vandana

  • 4 Anjali Jun 17, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Vandana thanks for visiting. I only know two online Bharatanatyam dance schools ie sridevinrityalaya.org and http://www.kalaikaviri-offcamp.com/ who provide online tuitions. Good luck.

  • 5 tejaswini shinde Sep 14, 2008 at 6:41 am

    I have really enjoyed this site.
    I am learning bharatanatyam and was suggested to visit this site and the information has provided to be very useful.
    This site is very methodical and easy to use
    I will recommend this site to every person who is looking for information on bharatanatyam

  • 6 Anjali Sep 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you Tejaswini . I am glad you liked it. I am sure a good word from you will add a great value to this site. I wish you good luck for your lessons ahead.

  • 7 sanghamitra Feb 16, 2009 at 7:15 am

    hi anjali
    I loved your website.It was very helpful because I myself am a student learning dance,but could you tell me where do u get the Mudra’s along with their pictures,so that I can know how to do them.

  • 8 Khushali Mar 14, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Do u have this bharatnatyam book so that i can learn form the book. as u give every little little thing in website about this dance so i want this book. if u pls help me for that form where i can get ur book and give me all the details.

  • 9 Anjali Mar 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Kushali, apart from what was given to me by my Guru. I also refer to books like “Abhinaya darpanam- The mirrors of expression” by P.Ramchandrashekhar and Manmohan Ghosh.

  • 10 siri Mar 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    hi anjali,
    its very happy to watch ur dance in the website.
    actually i want to learn the dance.either online or in school,but i dont know little bit of this.iam 26.is it possible to learn in my age.
    and what time it takes for stage performance.i hope u will say good news to me.thank u.

  • 11 anjali Mar 24, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Hello Siri, Thank you. You can definitely learn at 26. I have send you a mail regarding the online classes. looking forward to your reply.

  • 12 karthik Jun 15, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    HI Anjali,
    I am Karthik from India. I am 22 yrs old and Im interested in learning Bharatanatyam. However, due to certain reasons, I was not able to take up classes all these years and I don’t think I can continue for long. I am currently using you videos to learn the basics. Your site is fantastic and your method of teaching is excellent.

  • 13 Shylaja Sep 23, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Hi Anjali,
    This is Shylaja… This website is really informative and User-friendly. I need some help.. Can you show hastas for viniyogams? It will very helpful in teaching for the students.

  • 14 KUMARAROOBINI A/P POOBALAN Mar 22, 2010 at 4:47 am

    I am very much interested in dance and music. Can u help me out in letting me know about the online courses on bharathanatyam? I would like to learn Bharathanatyam thru online.

    Thanks
    Roobini

  • 15 sajitha Jun 10, 2010 at 7:39 am

    hi anjali ..!!
    i have learnt bharatanatyam, mohiniyattam n kuchhipudi..n done wid my arangetram..ur site is awesome…just wanted 2 kno can i learn bharatanatyam further frm u…i want to start my own academy…so i need training for tht…pls help me out…waiting for ur reply..thanks…

  • 16 Anjali Jun 10, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Thank you sajitha. Sure you could. Please fill up the contact froms on the website.

  • 17 sangeetha Sep 3, 2010 at 5:31 am

    am just going through and the ovearll can be learnabl.just wanted to know whether for howlong a woman can practise bharathanatyam(married woman)

  • 18 Anjali Sep 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    @Sangeetha,Till the time you want to. Its always good to get started.

  • 19 Shruti Oct 11, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I found this site very simple to understand and learn. But I’m not sure if I can rely only on online teachings like this, I’m unable to go to any institute or a guru and learn owing to my studies. Is it possible to learn purely online and through books? Please let me know if there are any online teaching sessions or anything that might be useful for me! I’l be very grateful :)

  • 20 NATARAJAN Nov 14, 2010 at 3:10 am

    So Finally i got a guru at my age of 29. Glad to see this website anjali….i dont have word to explain my pleasure..thank GOD

  • 21 Vibha Feb 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Namaskar Anjali, The news about online class for bharathnatyam is very encouraging as there are no gurus nearby my area in FL.I am looking for my daughter to learn. She is 3 yrs old. Now is it too early for her to start? Will online class work for her?Pls do advise. thank you

  • 22 peena Aug 25, 2011 at 3:36 am

    hi anjali m peena frm mumbai m happy 2 see ur online teaching bt is it possible 2 learn online dance m 27yrs old wud love nd m deying 2 learn bharatnatyam on any basis r u running any classes in mumbai nd wht r ur terms n conditions nd charges m luking forward fr positive response thnk u!

  • 23 ishita Nov 16, 2011 at 12:18 am

    my 4-year daughter is enthused and ready to learn.she started classes.i need help for practice at home & so i need to see videos,any tips u have 4 small beginners

  • 24 Anjali Nov 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    @Ishita, Let her enjoy dance. Try and make it an enjoyable experience.

  • 25 Sindhu Nov 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Hi Anjali,

    This site is very impressive. I am 30 and I am interested to learn Bharatnatyam.Could you please suggest dance schools in New Delhi

  • 26 Vaishnavi Dec 21, 2011 at 5:23 am

    Hi Anjali,
    I was preparing for my dance exams,
    Online bharatanatayam website was very useful as I passed
    the exam,
    Thanx and bye as well.
    Vaishnavi

  • 27 Alexander the Average Feb 19, 2012 at 8:43 am

    It’s been several years since I last practiced bharatanatyam, and this is a great place for me to brush up my basics and dust off my skills before I start formal classes again. I love what you’re doing here and want to thank you for it.

  • 28 Prabhupada Priya Devi Dasi Apr 7, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Thank you for the information and online classes for Bharatanatyam. This has helped a lot in my studies … Thank you very much! My humble obeisances. Hare Krishna!

  • 29 shojajayachandran Oct 31, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    its very useful to us

  • 30 skokila Apr 15, 2013 at 9:48 am

    its very useful to me

  • 31 Mithila.M.V May 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Anjali Mam this is Mithila from India. I have been learning this dance form since I was 8 yrs, Now I am 25 and married. Am not able to attend regular classes. I found your site very helpful for keeping in touch with the basics. Thank you. I have a small request. Can you please teach or choreograph for small devaranamas on Lord ganesha or krishana or Saraswati and so on?? I would love to learn those.
    Regards
    Mithila

  • 32 Vasanthi Oct 11, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Hi Anjali,
    I was really happy to come through this website. I learned Barthnatyam for 5 yrs when I was young but could not continue it due to higher studies. Now Iam 27 and love to dance. I am really impressed with the efforts you have put into this website. I am planning to start my practice once again.. And your site was really helpful in recollecting all the mudras… Thanks a lot…

  • 33 Janani Oct 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Anjali
    I am from UK.
    I am going to start teaching Barathanatyam. I just wondering if you have plans to include here some websites where I can download alarippu, yadishwaram, kouwthuwam etc.
    it is very difficult to buy in UK. I am looking to buy those cd’s for the dance performance.

    Thank you

  • 34 Anjali Oct 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    @Janani Check kalakendra for audios. There are lot of audios that you can download for a price. Good luck!!

  • 35 Aishwarya Oct 28, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Hi Anjali,

    The website is very useful and good. Great job!

    Do you know anyone who conducts classes in bangalore?

  • 36 abi Mar 10, 2014 at 6:44 am

    i feel very pleased with this messages.I just love to dance online teaching is not a easy task,but you are making it a great progress.

  • 37 Manju Mar 15, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Hello Anjali, I am 30 years old. Born in Kerala and brought up in Delhi. Right from my childhood i love dancing and singing. But couldnt go for any classes as my parents never wanted me to get trained in that. Since i have the passion for dancing i have done simple stage shows and being a teacher i teach dance to my students for school functions. My in laws run a school in Rajasthan. For the development of the school I have decided to take dance classes for students. U know in north India, ppl love classical dances. Just want to ask….can i get trained from this website and teach my students? Means, Is it possible for me to learn bharatanatyam from ur site and to take classes for my students weekly? If yes, suggest me what should i do??

  • 38 Anjali Mar 19, 2014 at 10:19 am

    @Manju, you can surely learn with the help of videos, but you will need someone to tell you about your correction that is possible only with a teacher interacting with you. We offer classes to students outside india. Being in India take advantage of going and learning with teachers. Since you are from Delhi there are experienced Bharatanatyam Gurus around Delhi. Do take advantage of that.

  • 39 Mekhala Sep 8, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Hi Anjali,

    I am keen to pursue bharat natyam after a gap but not sure if I would get the time as I am a working mom of a 9 months old. I am based out of Ahmedabad. Can you guide me with the classes here? I would also like to know about your online course. Thanks in advance