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Alarippu instruction and presentation

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.


  1. balu

    Hi Anjali
    I m balu pursuing Ph.D in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Newdelhi. since my childhood i have a dream to learn baratnatyam but did not got chance to learn. But by your onlinebharatnatyam website my dream which i thought could not get fulfilled getting fulfilled. Thank’s for your justification to the art which u had learned.

    from today onwards i watch all ur sessions and i became ur fan.

    thank u.
    if u r there in front of me i would have touched ur feet and said thanks.

  2. Dhananjay

    Hi Anjali,
    I came to Bangalore from Maharashtra for job reasons and am fascinated by the dance traditions of the south. I see dance recitals and feel them eye-pleasing, but your demonstrations have helped me understand some finer details, so that i can appreciate the performances in a better way. thanks a lot.
    And yes, you look pretty in that simple dance costume. kudos!

  3. selvy

    thank you so much for the video and i actually understood it really well. i was wondering whether you could do another video of meiya adavu if it is alright with you and i am in grade 3. i’m not forcing you to do this but just asking whether you would be able to.

  4. swathi

    hi anjali,

    i’m learning the alarippu now, and we were asked to do the thalam.
    can you help me how to do the thalam for the alarippu?
    your website is really good and it helped me allot, thank you very much!
    swathi x

  5. Anjali

    @Swati, your teacher can explain it to your better, since you need to understand the mathematics behind it.

  6. deepa bhat

    hello mam ur site is very useful… can u pls suggest gud projects for kids in bharatanatyam…..and also pls hlp me a gud universuty frm where we can do masters or phd in bharatanatyam

  7. pooja shah

    hi .you are excellent.can you sugest me interesting method on how to teach bharatanatyam and plz can you give me some suggestion on how to give children progets where they get more and more knowledge.and can u tel me how can i imorove my knowlege more and more

  8. Kirthi

    Hi Anjali,

    Love your videos and appreciate the work you are doing. I was wondering about the raaga of Alarippu. Can you please let me know in which raaga or thaalam (I hope I am saying it right) is this Alarippu.


  9. Priya

    Hi Anjali

    Iam priya staying in Mumbai. i saw your alaripu video. But i understand alarippu is composed in various talams. Could you please clarify on this.

    Thanking you

  10. Shilpa

    Hi Anjali. I have learnt this amazing dance for 10 years of my life but after marriage and moving from country to country I haven’t been performing or practicing much. I love your site and your way of spreading the knowledge. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  11. Prikanshka Devi

    hi, i am trying to learn bharatanatyam and this site is really really helpful, i have a 4 year old daughter who is interested so would you think that this site would be a good start for my little Chittu?

  12. Anjali

    @prikanshka, Thank you. You can try teaching her, looking at the videos. If your little one really shows interest and is delighted to dance you can enroll her to a good dance school in your area.

  13. Prikanshka Devi

    Thanks so much!!!! She really has a knack for the dance and i think she would be an excellent student when she gets older. I will try to teach her from your videos until she is around 6 then I will enroll her into a school.

  14. swati

    Hi Anjali,
    Thanks for providing this piece. Can you tell me where I can find the bols (syllables) to Alarippu. I know you recite them in the video, but I would like the written. I tried to write them down while following you along in the video, but it is just too hard. If you know where I can find the bols to other dance steps too, that would be great too. Thanks

  15. Shilpa

    Hey Anjali,
    I have always wondered, How you can recognize differences between Dance styles like Tanjavoor style or Mysore Style? I tried reading about them in Lasya ranjana and few other books but still unclear. Could you please share your thoughts on different dance styles? thanks

  16. Mandar Dhavale


    I am mandar from Satara Mah. now in Nigeria. I am visharad in the Bharatanatyam.But I wants to learn more. about Bharat natyam.can you help me to learn master degree in Bharatnatyam.Pl

  17. Maria

    Wow this is a great post. I just Love your videos and appreciate the work you are doingand i absolutely loved it….
    Thank you for posting it and keep up !!!

  18. Rutu

    Hello Anjali, I was glad to find your videos when I was looking for BharatNatyam dances online. I did my Arangetram some ten years ago, and have almost forgotten most of it. But I would like to recall and relearn, so could you suggest where I could find them online? My work leaves me little time to join classes, so I mostly practise early mornings or late nights.

  19. vismaya

    hi anjali

    i am vismaya
    i am a fan in india.i have learn all tpye of dance.

    if you were there i will touched your feet and said thanks.

  20. Reva Deonarine

    Hi there =)
    I Really love bharatnatyam but i was never able to find a place to get lessons so i took it upon myself to find way to learn natyam on the internet. I am starting with alarippu first because I feel it would be a good start. Thanks to you i have a greater understanding of how to preform alrippu but my love for classical dance still remains a secret. How exactly would one want to reveal a secret to their family who is mainly of doctors and computer engineers?

  21. Pritam kulkarni

    dear madam,
    I am also a bharatnatyam dancer and I have reffered many of your dances . I am not getting the mdeia of the song you are using while teaching Alarippu. Please suggest me the link or source to get it.


  22. ravisankar

    amma iam 56. now i got time to learning kuchipudi. i saw yours teaching progm. good. in bharatanatyam some expressions are useful to me.

  23. titli

    anjali madam,
    i am titli from kolkata.i have learnt bharatnatyam upto 3rd yr.but now i want to continue again after 6 years gap.pls can u suggest me any bharatnatyam teachers in kolkata?

  24. arghyadip

    respected anjali mam,
    can you please give me the lyrics of alarippu with talas and matras?

  25. Rathi

    Hi Anjali… GURU ..Great Work ..never ever by anyone before….Hats of U…& Ur Work….ur student Rathi

  26. Soumya Rao

    Hi Anjali, thanks for posting Bharatanatyam videos. I would like to know in raga and taala Alarippu is composed in?

  27. Madhu

    Hi Mam,
    Your work was very great ,God bless your talent. I was wondering about the raaga of Alarippu. Can you please send me how to compose thalam in Alarippu and Jatiswarm…

  28. ishwarya

    Ever since I have started refurbishing my bharatanatyam nuances after 15 years gap, your website is of great help to me..

    Can you please tell me who composed the first ever alaripu and jatiswaram ? Was it the tanjore quartet or anyone else ?

  29. pallabi sen

    hi mam,

    your online videos has really helped me to develop myself with more knowledge. i have learnt bharatnatyam but coudn’t continue further after marriage so your online videos has brought a change in my life, mam can u post a video of mahaganapatim as i am very much eager to perform mahaganapatim in stage during ganesh festival.

  30. Beena T Wagh

    hi mam i also want to learn bharatanatyam but dont know from whom to learn as i do not have any idea about d same im gujarati and leave in mumbai if u can sugges any teacher for me im 32 years old.thank u.

  31. Alexus Buckner

    I am you’re FAN ! I love watching you teach this. Now I can learn these dances. 🙂 I really appreciate you’re help. Thank you so much for you’re help. But can you show us Kalektra style? It’ll really help me more a little better. Because I have no classes I am just learning the basics from you. Well anyways thanks~! May god bless you <3

  32. Alexus Buckner

    I am from America and we don’t really have Bharatanatyam classes. So I really appreciate the help. You make this easily well done. You dance beautiful. You should open up you’re online dance class. I’m sure you’ll teach awesome! Plus you can show more learning. You really improve my dancing. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be able to do this dance. Well I hope you accept my suggestion. Follow you’re dreams. THANKS SO MUCH!

  33. Anjali

    @Alexus Buckner, Thank you for your lovely feedback. I have learnt Pandanallur and hence not sure if I can demonstrate Kalakshetra with all its details. But over the years I can pinpoint how a step is rendered in different styles. Regarding online sessions we have been offering live video sessions since 2009. By lords grace the response has been encouraging.

  34. Rajshree Jayarajan

    Hi Anjali,
    Its a great work you are doing by posting all this material about Bharathanatyam. Your videos are so good I am sure its helped several people interested in this field. I learnt Bharathanatyam and Mohiniyattam during my school and college days and have performed in various places then. But now, since I started working as a doctor several years ago I’ve been totally out of touch. My daughter who is 12 years old wanted to learn and I couldn’t find anybody to teach her close to where we live in UK. So finding you site was very helpful. Could you please post a video of Thodayam? Thank you very much. Do keep up your good work!

  35. Aishwarya Chaturvedi

    Hello Anjali, this is Aishwarya here. I have seen your videos and this is exactly what I have learn years before. I have learned Bharatnatyam for 5 years also i have completed 1st year exams and 2nd year dance course but I haven’t given exam for 2nd year since I was not eligible at that age(11yrs), my age is now 23 years and I want to continue with my dance, can you please suggest me some good dance class in Bengaluru, India so that I can continue with my practice.

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