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Korvai or a Dance sequence

The word Korvai means to compile, join or thread together. Korvais are adavus when set to a particular Talam (Rhythm) and Kalam (speed) and usually concludes with a Theermanam. Dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai says “If we consider ‘Adavus’ as beads, ‘ Talam’  is the thread and ‘ Theermanam’ is the final knot we tie to finish the garland.” Jatiswaram and Tillana are pure dance pieces, where many such korvais are joined together.

Following video is an example of Korvai

We begin with six walking steps. The basic walking steps are called Chalam. To walk, first the body takes a slight dip, while it lifts one feet. Then place the lifted feet forward on the heels. This time  body will rise.

After the walks are completed we do the fifth step of Tatti metti Adavu (taka jham tari taka ta). Followed by a step which is similar to the eleventh step of Teermanam Adavu (tai tai tai tai dhit dhit tai). This is repeated both to the left and right.

Then followed by the Tatti Mettu adavu second variation(Ta ka jham tari taka ta ha). Repeat it on both sides.

Step similar to Tatti mettu Adavu sixth variation is done for Ta ka jham tari, taka nam tari. Then Ta Dhi is a jump forward. For Tai dhit dhit Tai the Seventh step of Teermanam is done.

Also taka jham tari taka nam tari is also done as Ta kita ta kita (similar to Trishra jati Adavu) on both sides. Lastly Ta ka jham tari is a full sitting and Ta ka nam tari is a turn. Such turns are called Bhramari. And what you see here is Ekapada Bhramari.


  1. Vishwa Protim Banerjee

    Namaskaaram maam, thanks for helping me. What are Chari bhedas and different kinds of bhramaris? Kindly guide.
    Dhanyavaadam again

  2. calvin

    Hello from Cairo:
    I have just watched this demonstration
    of a korvai which looks great and easy
    when you know how.
    But, I would love to see this in slow motion
    –if possible.
    The individual steps seem rather fast for
    betinners. Perhaps I’m wrong.
    There is each step as we see but most
    have small finer points that have to go
    with the dance.
    Also, I find that the sari you wear is often
    in the way. Especially to see which foot
    is in motion – right or left.
    I did not get to visit Chennai as I did not
    know that Amricans need a visa to fisit
    India. This hasn’t always been the case
    as I was there a few years backand no
    visa was required.
    I was really disappointed not to have the
    chance to see my old guru Adyar Lakshman.
    But, perhaps next Dec and Jan.
    That’s it. Videos ( all) are great and I have
    made great progress and do some practice
    each day.
    Best wishes.
    Calvin W. Hodgdon
    Cairo, Egypt

  3. dhiveyani

    hi there, I just wanted to know what thalam this is??? I need one with athi thalam and rupaka thalam, so i’m not quite sure.

  4. Dr. Pavithra babu

    my daughter is learning dance in my small town where teachers are not available. she is a very quick learner and 8 yrs old. the present teacher doesnot give importance to the postures etc. she wants to excel in dance.
    Do you have any suggestions

  5. Aditi Jadhav

    I am a budding bharatanatyam .l want jatiswarm korvais of rupak Taal chatushra jaati on hands

  6. remya

    Thanks but I am unable to view the above video on my laptop .I have tried IE and chrome ,it shows the same a white blank space ,could u help me rectify it

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