Let us explore on Adavus a little more. The word “Adavu” means basic step. Adavus forms the ABC’s of pure dancing(Nritta) in bharatanatyam. Just like a combination of alphabets give words and thereafter sentences, adavus are combined to form a dance sequence in Bharatanatyam.
An Adavu is the combination of:
- Position of the legs (Sthanakam)
- Posture of our standing (Mandalam)
- Walking movement (Chari)
- Hand gestures (nritta hastas)
All the four done in synchronization with Rhythm or Tala is ADAVU. Every Adavu will have certain number of steps and would have a BOL or Sollukattu or syllable like “Tai Ya- Tai Hi”.
Following are the Ten important Adavus that a new student is asked to practice thoroughly:
- Tatta Adavu
- Natta Adavu
- Visharu Adavu (Mardita Adavu or Paraval Adavu)
- Tirumanam Adavu
- Murka Adavu
- Jati Adavu
- Kuditamitta Adavu
- Mandi Adavu
- Sarikal Adavu
Some parents and students have often asked me why should we learn these steps and not the dance directly?
A child when starts schooling , learns the alphabets first. Imagine if they were taught words directly!!!
Learning just the adavus and practicing them for a while helps the students to :
1. to develop flexibility and overcome the initial muscle cramps and sore feet at the beginning stages.
2. attain right posture
3. develop stamina
4. become aware to the sense of Talam (Rhythm) and kalam (speed)
5. become Swift and agile and attain control over the body.
Generally During the first year of Bharatanatyam coaching, a student is trained only in Adavus, and Nritta Hasta or Hand Gestures. Gaining perfection over Adavus is the most important.
I shall describe about TATTA Adavu in my next post.