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Greeva Bheda or Neck movements

Neck movements are an integral part of most indian classical dance forms. If performed in a smooth and delicate manner it increases the quality of both Nritta and Abhinaya. The grace emerging out of Attami’s plays a very important role in communicating an idea in abhinaya pieces or as an ornament in Nritta. Like Gamakas are to carnatic music,  neck movements are to Bharatanatyam.

The four types of neck movements mentioned in AbhinayaDarpanam are:-

1. Sundari : Here the neck is moved from side to side. It is also called as Attami.

2. Tirashchina: Here neck is moved in a V-shape.

3. Prarivartita: Here the neck is moved in a Semicircle or moonlike shape.

4. Prakampita: Here the neck is moved forward and back.

The Sanskrit verse (shloka) for Greeva Bheda is

Sundari cha Tirashchina tathaiva Parivartita

Prakampita cha bhavagnair gneya greeva chaturvidha

Watch the video below to see how neck movements are done and can be practiced.

26 Comments

  1. Sowjanya

    Anjali,

    It would be great if you can also post a similar video for Drishti Bhedas in Bharatanatyam.

    Regards,
    Sowjanya

  2. adriana Huaiquinao

    hi,Im from Chile,recently found your site,it has been wonderful.To learn very much.I study dance,I danced Barathanatyam but with choreography my authorship,because he had not knowledge. that you are delivering.Iam devotee of krishna,Iwould like to ask ,how you could guide me to make a hobby of krishna?.Thank you for this knowledge and I have learned a lot whith you.

  3. vaishnavi

    Hi,
    You are my guru right now.Not just for me,many people who dint get chance to learn bharatanatyam. I must say you are doing an extra-ordinary job.Please keep doing it .
    It will also be useful if you can put the meanings of these slokas,so that it will be very easy and meaningful to learn it.
    Thanks a lot for your good work ..

  4. C.P.Unnikrishnan

    Your stress on minimising the body movements while doing greeva bhedas is absolutely right. But when you do the ones after Sundari, the sundari movemnet is repeated and you move your body to execute the V or the Half moon shapes. It’s quite an anatomical confusion when one talks about Sirobheda and Greevabheda separately. Some part of one Head/Neck) moves when the other one moves. But the torso can be kept steady. Head-Neck movements cannot be separated 100 % is the inference. That’s how the vertebrae and skull are aligned.

  5. C.P.Unnikrishnan

    Despite whatever qns I ask, the content you have put on the web is commendable beyond words. The toal committment and caution on maximum academic structuring are very conspicuous. I have visited similar other sites. But I would, undobtedly rank this site as 1.

  6. Soundarya

    Hey Anjali,
    I am doing my grade 1 exam soon and it would be great if you uploaded the leg positions (not the movement eg. jumping)
    please help.

    Regards Soundarya

  7. Soundarya

    Hey Anjali,
    I am doing my grade 1 exam soon and it would be great if you uploaded the leg positions (not the movement eg. jumping)
    please help.

    Regards Soundarya.

  8. Sangeetha Srinivasan

    Pls throw some light on brahmaris,mandalas etc. also, anjali mam.No doubt urs is no.1 ranked website for bharathanatyam.:))

  9. Kareena

    Hey Anjali,

    Your website is superb! This is very helpful to me, whenever I learn dance. Thank you for posting this!

    Kareena Kavith

  10. Deepa shrihari Katti

    Thank you Anjali ..Actually my daughter is learning bharatanatyam n she has completed PRARAMBHIKA n now appearing for Praveshika

  11. neena

    thank-you soooooooooo much for this it really helped! I loved it I think this page will be a great success could you also please add the Pada,head and eye bhedas. But overall this is an amazing page that i will show all my friends. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. neena

    Dear Anjali,
    Hello, I don’t think you know me! But I think that you deserve a HUGE round applause for putting that peice of amazing hardwork together it is astonishingly very good. I can imagine you working really hard trying to get it perfect. :-$ :-+ 🙂 :-! Thank-you so much it helped with my ISTD Grade 1 exam!
    Caringly yours sincerely
    Evelyine

  13. Anushka

    Really good resources that helped me pass my yearly exams in dance! You decrease the tediousness that all Barathnatyam dancers know about and help us through the difficult. This is top notch quality, and thank you once again.

  14. Aparna

    Dear Aparna, Sairam, please watch the you tube video on neck movements and a lot of resources on Bharata natyam.
    You will enjoy the video

  15. Niveditha. K. Prasad

    Thank you for posting video of Drishti Bheda, shiro bheda and Greeva Bheda. Pl post the video of Bru Bheda.

    regards
    Niveditha.K. Prasad

  16. Mahesh Govind

    Hi,
    Could you please tell some tips to move neck from one side to another in sundari . I tried this . But was not able to move the neck .

    -Mahesh

  17. Zia

    Hi! Thank so much for creating and sharing all of this with everyone. Such a blessing. I am wondering about the neck movement Sundari. Is there a slight turn up of the chin on each side? Or is it to be very straight? Thank you so much.

  18. Anagha Nagamalli

    Thank you for posting these videos. I request you to also post the meaning of all of the neck movements. Thank you again.

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