Much as it is true that the term Adavu is transalated as foot work, adavu is not a presentation limited to usage of the the feet. Every single limb of the body is coordinated in a certain style. The hands, legs, head etc constitute the major limbs. The simplest defenition of Adavu would be, basic unit of Bharatanatyam involving the whole body.

It is pretty easy to say that there rae about 65 adavus involving a range of movements. This would only put offan eager leaner for he or she might feel that the adavus are too many in number to be grasped easily. Let us have a brief look at a few core aspects of adavus that appear in almost every adavu.



    If this is mastered, half of Bharatanatyam is mastered! Now, this is no exaggeration because to master the right araimandi is quitean arduous and time consuming process. Initially, one will experiance a lot of pain in the knees and thighs but that will slowly settle down. Here are few points to remember.

    • Back straight (bending or stooping can crete a hunch-effect).
    • Height reduced by atleast 1/3rd.
    • Feet pointing to the opposite sides a nd placed horizolly
    • Hands firmly and and neatly placed on the hips.
    • Eyes straight.

    Students can start off by standing like this for 10secs, 20secs, 30secs and gradually improve it to 1min, 1.30secs etc.


    Standing straight, legs joined, eyes straight, hands on the hips. This may sound easy, but it is very important for a dancer. When a dancer is given rest in between the dance he/she should be in this position.


    This is a full seated position – perhaps the most painful one to grasp and reproduce. One tends to trip and lose balance many times in the initial stages. But it settles down slowly. Here too, the eyes must be focussed straight and the back is to be erect.


    4. Hands to the sides with a slight curve. Elbows to be erect and not to droop. This gesture is difficult causing quite some pain in the elbows. It is again practice; more importantly, practice with a positive mind that “ I am going to master this! “.

    5. Hands in the front of the chest. Elbows firm, eyes straight.

    It is these 3 major leg positions and 2 hand positions on which one builds on.

    So,  the next time you are watching a Bharatanatyam performance, I am sure it would be very easy to identify these 5 aspects that occure repeatedly.

    Starting from any of these as the base position, the adavu involves well-coordinated movement of the body.

    Since this is intended to be a concise volume in understanding the form of bharatanatyam, let us stop our discussion on Adavu presently and move on to the next concept. We shall certainly take on a detailed study of adavus later.

    8 Responses to “ADAVU”

    1. Good Work! Try to define all the basic terms a beginner has to know….


    2. nirveda Says:

      hey..good dedication for a blog..keep writing..i am a classical dancer may visit my blog at

    3. […] The Art of Bharatanatyam – здесь вы можете прочитать об адаву и основных позициях (по-английски). […]

    4. pain in legs…

      […]ADAVU « The Art of Bharatanatyam[…]…

    5. really easy drawings…

      […]ADAVU « The Art of Bharatanatyam[…]…

    6. Hi my name is nitha and i have attempted this form of art dance but unfotunately never had the oppurtunity to complete this beautiful form of dance. I would like to pursue this form of dance further. What is the process that i require to follow in order to be a graduate student. I would consider this a dream and asppiration fulfilled. Thank you

      I would gladly await your response and possibly if it is possible for me to be aadvised as to which is the nearest location of this dance school.
      Nitha dookhu
      Ladysmith kzn

    7. machine a sous gratuite columbus

      ADAVU | The Art of Bharatanatyam

    8. machine a sous les cloches en folie

      ADAVU | The Art of Bharatanatyam

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