The word Alarippu means “a flowering bud.” It is an innovatory piece meaning it is performed before a dancer begins a whole performance. It is considered to be a warm up piece for the dancers. According to T. Balasraswati “Alarippu, which is based on rhythm alone, brings out the special charm of pure dance. The movements of Alarippu relax the dancer’s mind and thereby her mind, loosen and coordinate her limbs and prepare her for the dance. Rhythm has a rare capacity to invoke concentration. Alarippu is most valuable in freeing the dancer from distraction and making her single-minded.”
Alarippu begins with Atamis or neck movements followed by Mandi advau in the second half and later culminates with vibrant foot work and teermanam adavu. In the following video I have tried to explain the first half of Alarippu step by step.
Part Two Video of Alarippu
Here is the second part of Alarippu. I have used some audio in between to demonstrate the speed and how it would match with the beats.
Lets watch the whole Alarippu here. The video is a recent update to this post.