Glossary

Word

Definition

Adavu A Tamil term for a single unit of dance.
Ādi Tālam An eight beat Tālam or time measure.
Ālida A basic posture with the feet aligned at right angles to each other. The left foot is placed at right angle to the right foot that is turned outward in the basic Aramandi stance of the feet. Called Pratyāllida, when the right foot is placed at a right angle to the left foot in Aramandi stance.
Aramandi Aramandi or the demi plie position, is the essential posture of Bharatanātyam. It is also called Āyata in the text Abhinaya Darpanam. With the heels almost touching each other, the toes are opened out, sideways, so that a straight line is formed by the two feet. The knees are then opened sideways, and the knees bent to form a quadrilateral, even as the spine and torso is held erect and straight.
Ekapada Standing on one foot, with the leg stretched straight, and placing   the other leg across the knee of the standing leg. The knee of the crossed leg is flexed and open, so that the knee points sideways.
Garudamandala Another basic Bharatanātyam posture. Staying in the basic Aramandi stance, stretch the other leg either sideways, or to the back, with toes placed on the ground even as heel is lifted. The knee of the stretched leg is fully stretched and has no bend whatsoever. Spine and torso are held erect.
Jati A further division of the time cycle in a Tāla, and are rhythmic measures in varied counts. These jatis are 5 in number and are also called Pancha Nadai in Tamil. They are Tiśra (3 beats), Chaturaśra (4 beats), Kanda (5 beats), Miśra (7 beats) and Sankīrna (9 beats). This is featured in the Tattimettu lesson.  
Katthi Katthi means knife and is named after the cutting movement performed with the hands.
Kartari Kartari means scissors and is named after the Kartarimukha mudrā. The adavu is also called Kartari adavu.
Kudittu Kudittu in Tamil means to jump.
Kuṇcita The position when both the feet are raised onto the toes, even as Aramandi position is maintained.
Korvai Korvai in Tamil means a string and represent a combination of adavus usually form the concluding segment or finale of a set of adavus.
Mandi Mandi in Tamil means knees. The set of adavus where knee movements are predominant are called Mandi adavus and extensively employ the use of the Muzhumandi position.
Mayūra adavu Name of the adavu as it uses the Mayūra mudra. This is featured under Other adavus.
Mettu Mettu in Tamil means to stamp, usually done with heels only.
Miśra Gati A seven beat rhythm
Motita Sitting on the raised heels with toes facing sideways (Muzhumandi), on the ground. Knees touch the ground alternatively. Spine and torso are held erect.
Mudra Hand gestures intrinsic to Bharatanātyam.
Muzhumandi Tamil word for sitting fully on the heels even as the toes are on the ground. Knees are flexed outward to the sides and the spine and torso are held erect.
Nāttu Nāttu stands for stretching. Staying in the basic Aramandi stance, one foot is struck fully on the ground, like Tattadavu, while the other is stretched to the front at right angles to, or to the side opposite to, or at an angle; from the static foot in Aramandi. The heel of the stretched foot is placed with the toes flexed upwards. The knee of the stretched leg is fully stretched and has no bend whatsoever. 
Nātyārambha Hands stretched at shoulder level with palms facing down, tips of fingers stretched upwards in the respective mudrā, and elbows bent and raised above the line of the outstretched hands, to form a gentle curve. The basic posture is done typically with Patāka mudrā. Remember to provide strength to the outstretched arm.
Panchanadai See Jāti.
Parśvasūchi Muzhumandi, with only one knee touching the ground.
Pratyālida See Ālida.
Prenkhana See Nāttu.
Rūpaka Tālam A three or six beat Tālam or time measure.
Sama To hold the position of erectness with body, head, and face, aligned, and facing forward.
Sama Drshti Depicts the position of the eyes that look straight and forward at eye level.
Samapāda Standing straight with feet placed together.
Sarikkal or Sarukkal Sarikkal’ or ‘Sarukkal’ in Tamil means to slide. The adavus using the sliding movement of the feet are called Sarikkal or Sarukkal adavus.
Sollu or Sollukattu Tamil word for mnemonic syllables.
Swastika Crossing of one foot across the other, on either side, for either leg, in front or at the back. The crossed foot is placed with only toes resting on the ground, while heels are lifted .The static foot, can either be positioned in Samapāda (standing straight) or flexed as in Aramandi position.
Tattu Tattu stands for striking. Staying in the basic Aramandi stance, feet are struck struck fully on the ground, keeping time with the mnemonic syllables.
Tīrmana Tīrmāna means to conclude The Tīrmāna adavus are usually the concluding or finale steps in a set of adavus, strung together.