what does it all mean?
When you have an art form that is about 2000 years old and when for the most part, it portrays stories from ancient worlds and lands far, far away, a little explanation is in order. Here are some popular terms associated with the art form. You may come across them at the event.
art of expression; "leading an audience towards" the experience of a sentiment; integral part of all Indian classical dance styles
basic unit of dance technique in Bharatanatyam, combining standing position, foot and leg movement, and hand gestures; building blocks of the nritta
debut performance of a Bharatanatyam dancer, marking his or her readiness for performing a full solo recital; Tamil word meaning to step onto the stage - from arangam meaning stage and etram meaning ascent
signature posture in Bharatanatyam with erect torso, bent legs, knees outward, heels together, and toes outward
an almost 2000 years old dance form whose name comes from the four important aspects of dance in Sanskrit - bha from bhaava
meaning motion,ra from raga meaning melody or tune, ta from taala meaning rhythm and natyam meaning dance;
elephant-headed god; considered to be the God of wisdom and the remover of all obstacles; everything begins with an invocation to him
drum syllables, or sequences of drum syllables, describing units of percussion as intoned by the dance conductor, nattuvanar, during abstract dance passages
usually the second item in a Bharatanatyam performance; an abstract dance number without expression of meaning in which diverse rhythmic patterns and musical phrasing are used; the music has no lyrics and only the names of notes are sung
short, benedictory item of music or dance at the end of the last performance of the day
sequence of items in a Bharatanatyam recital; literally means way or path in Sanskrit
double-sided Indian drum used mainly in South India, in Carnatic music.
symbolic gesture using hands and fingers; also refers to hand gestures in Bharatanatyam where they are used for decoration as well as expressing meaning
God of dance
dance master of Bharatanatyam responsible for training the dancers and directing their performances (like an orchestra conductor)
practice or art of calling out rhythmic syllables that denote dance movements, and striking cymbals on particular beats as cues to the dancer; art of conducting a Bharatanatyam dance recital
dramatic aspect of a stage performance, including spoken dialogue and mime, to convey meaning and enact narrative