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Learn Asamyuta Hasta Mudras or Single Hand Gestures in Bharatanatyam

6th May, 2022

Bharatanatyam is one domain that has seen extensive usage of hand gestures, and in most cases, some bifurcation will help you segregate one type from the others. If you want to learn more about these gestures and have a basic understanding of what Bharatanatyam hand gestures are all about, you do need to join professional classes that can guide you. However, we have tried to talk about some of the elementary Asamyuta Hasta mudras, which can help you understand what it is all about.

It is crucial here to mention that there is no one single type of gesture when it comes to the mudras in Bharatanatyam. Usually, it is an amalgamation of steps that brings the choreographies more prominence. Asamyukta, or the single hand gestures in Bharatanatyam, is essential for each dancer to understand to do it with poise and grandeur.

What Does One Mean By Asamyukta Hand Gestures

When we talk about any form of Indian classical dance, the first thing that one needs to understand is that there are specific rules or ways to perform the same without any hassles. Not only that, at the same time, it is essential to learn these with time so that you do know the most crucial facts about a dance form you like. The Asamyuta gesture is one of the basic gestures, and roughly translated, it refers to all the hand gestures which can be performed using a single hand.

We usually see that when it comes to mudras in Bharatanatyam, you can use both hands to form a particular movement, and at the same time, there are single hand movements as well, which can be paired up with any footwork. The Natya Shastra is the guidebook for any form of classical dance. This guide explicitly mentions that in Bharatanatyam, there are 28 prominent and basic Asamyukta hand gestures. 

The essential thing about all these gestures is that although they are performed just by one hand, that does not mean that any of them overlap. Therefore, it is necessary to understand that conveying a specific gesture with your hands is equally important. Hence, the hasta mudras are something you have to learn if you are serious about Bharatanatyam as a dance form.

What Are The Different Types of Asamyuta Dance Form?

When we talk about the Asamyuta Hasta mudra, we emphasise that it refers to hand gestures performed only with one hand. But at the same time, it is also important to mention that each of these hand gestures is distinct, and we have tried to mention the most important ones in our discussion.

  1. Pataka: The first and most basic hand gesture that needs to be mentioned is the pataka gesture, and when you start learning Bharatanatyam, this will be the first-hand gesture that you are taught. The gesture is effortless, and here all your fingers stand straight with a slight arch back that resembles the pataka. There is widespread usage of this hand gesture in most symbols.
  2. Tripataka: The Tripataka hand gesture, as the name would suggest, uses three fingers to portray a flag. It is just a tiny variation from the regular pataka, and the most important thing is that it is also very widely used to represent in choreographies. 
  3. Mayura: The term Mayura refers to the gesture which portrays a mayur as a peacock. The gesture is quite simple, and here your middle and ring finger jointly touches the thumb while the remaining fingers stand straight. You can use this particular gesture to depict the peacocks in any choreographies, and mostly, they are paired with intricate footwork. 
  4. Ardha Chandra: Just like the literal translation of the word, Ardha Chandra refers to a half-moon that can be easily depicted with just one hand. Here all you need is to get your hand at a horizontal angle and stretch out your thumb. It also describes the half-moon and is quite a widely used hand gesture.
  5. Alapadma: One of the best things about a dance form like Bharatanatyam is that you tend to depict some everyday instances in an artistic and more beautiful demeanour here. alapadma refers to a blooming lotus, and it is incredibly intricate. When you start getting to the more advanced levels of Bharatanatyam training, you will focus significantly on the aladapadma hand gesture. 
  6. Trishula: Lastly, when we talk about Asamyuta hand gestures, we must also mention the hand gesture trishula. The trishula, as the name would suggest, is used to depict a Trishul, and here the three fingers- middle, ring, and pointer finger stand straight while the other two are joined together.

Conclusion

These gestures are more Asamyukta hand gestures as well, which are equally important and used widely in Bharatanatyam. You can also choose to join professional classes like the Kafqa Academy, which will be able to guide you in this domain. 

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