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Anga - Learn The Correct Body Postures In Kathak

6th May, 2022

In ancient India, the science of dance had advanced to a high level. The term Angalakshana (5 kinds) relates to how the body components are moved. To grasp the concept and perform Anga Lakshana in Kathak poses, one must first comprehend and practise the classification of the human body.

Read this article before you join Kathak dance classes online and have a clear understanding of Anga Lakshana. We will take a closer look at each of the Angalakshana in turn.

Anga: The Correct Body Posture

Every student of Kathak has to grasp this concept and put it into practice regularly. Therefore, the Gurus would only teach the students the dance numbers after they had mastered the followings:

  • Shirobhedam
  • Dristibhedam
  • Greevabhedam
  • Paadabhedam
  • Gatibhedam

In ancient India, the concept of human anatomy was well-understood. An inverted tree was used to represent a human body. The roots (head) are at the top of the tree, while the branches (limbs) are connected by the stem (body). The Human Body was primarily separated into three large sections for the sake of study, not only for dance but also for Ayurveda, spirituality, and other subjects.

Anga, Pratyanga, and Upaanga are the three types of body limbs used in Kathak. These are extremely important, and each one contributes in some way to the human body. The Upanga and Pratyanga are tiny rivers that pour into the main river, causing it to become exceedingly powerful.

The beauty of the human body emerges when the Pratyanga and Upanga are beautifully constructed and well mixed with the main parts or primary components, which is the Anga. This, in turn, aids in the expression of a particular rasa. A student of Kathak is considered to have acquired Angashudhi or Kathak poses when they have mastered the concepts and comprehension of Anga, Pratyanga, and Upanga.

What are the Benefits of Anga Shuddhi?

  • It improves a dancer's aesthetic sense and Kathak poses; with proper Anga, the dancer appears beautiful.
  • It aligns the dancer's body and makes them feel comfortable about performing.
  • It protects bodily parts from harm when dancing.
  • The ability to control movements while doing them improves a dancer's performance.


Anga is defined as the major classification of body parts. It is the gross demarcation of the body into 6 major parts. They are:

  • Shira (Head)
  • Hastas (Palm of the hands)
  • Vakshas (Chest)
  • Parshwa (2 sides of the body)
  • Kati (2 sides of the Waist)
  • Padas ( Legs)


Pratyanga is defined as the structure or organ connecting the other parts of human organs. These are the substructures, sub organs, or subsidiary parts of the human body that are attached to the minor organs (Upanga) that are positioned in relation to the major organs or components. The Pratyanga are the next six.

  • Skanda (Shoulder)
  • Bahu (Arms)
  • Prashtam (Back)
  • Udaram (Stomach)
  • Uru (Thighs)
  • Janghas (Shanks)


These are the minor components that originate from the Pratyanga. There are 12 Upanga, according to the Natyashastra. The list is as follows:

  • Drishti (Eyes)
  • Bhru or Bhrukuti (Eye Brows)
  • Puta (Eyelids)
  • Tara (Eyeballs)
  • Kapola (Cheeks)
  • Nasi( Nose )
  • Hanu ( Jaws)
  • Adhara ( Lower Lips)
  • Dasana ( Teeth)
  • Jiva ( Tongue)
  • Cubukam (Chin)
  • Vadanam (Face)

Anga, Shiro, Drishti, and Greeva Bhedhas: The following sections explain the various Shiro (head), Drishti (eye), and Greeva (neck) Bhedhas (movements), as well as the classification of Anga (body) in Kathak.

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Shiro Bhedha - Gestures of the Head

In Sanskrit, Shira or Shirasa denotes "head." The nine head movements refer to the positions of the head when expressing a specific bhava.

  • Samam - Keep head straight
  • Udvahitam - Lookup
  • Adhomukham - Look Down
  • Alolitam - Move head in a circular movement
  • Dhutam - Move head to the right and left
  • Kampitam - Nod, head up and down
  • Paravrittam - Right, left movement of head
  • Ukshiptam - Head is turned and raised or in a slanted position
  • Parivahittam - Small shakes of the head done quickly.

Drishti Bhedha - This is a Term For Eye Motions

In Sanskrit, Drishti means "eyes." The eight eye movements refer to the postures of the eyes when expressing a specific bhava.

  • Samam - Keep eyes still
  • Alokitam - Roll eyeballs in a circular pattern
  • Saachi - Look through the corner of both eyes.
  • Pralokitam - Move your eyes from side to side.
  • Nimilitam - It looks like a half shut-eye; try to focus the eyeball towards the heart
  • Ullokitam - Look upwards
  • Anuvrittam - Move eyes up and down rapidly
  • Avalokitam - Look down

Neck Movements or Greeva Bhedha

In abhinaya pieces, attamis emanate grace, whereas, in Nritta, they serve as a decoration. Abhinaya Darpanam mentions four different sorts of neck movements.

  • Sundari - Move neck side to side. It is also called Attami.
  • Tirashchina - Move neck in a V-shape
  • Prarivartita - Move neck in a moon-like shape or semi-circular motion
  • Prakampita - Move neck forward and back


We hope that this article has offered you some insights. If you want to enrol your child in Kathak dance classes online, it is best to choose KAFQA Academy. We are a popular online dance academy offering best-in-class dance lessons to kids and younger adults. Contact us if you need any help while registering your child.

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