Paadha Bhedas are different leg positions in Bharatanatyam, a major form of Indian classical dance in South India. The leg positions or Paadha Bhedas are mainly categorized into different standing positions.
The different Paadha Bhedas dance positions are Mandala Bheda (standing positions along with hand gestures), Shtaanka Bheda (a simple standing position), Caari (movements), Utplavanas (leaps), Bhramari (circling turns and movements) and Gatibheda (gaits). In this blog, you will know about each of them in detail.
Different Paadha Bheda (Dancing Positions)
The different dancing positions or Paadha Bhedas in Bharatanatyam are as follows:
1. Mandala Bheda (Standing Positions Along with Hand Gestures)
- Shtaanakam- Stand with your feet together (Samapaada) and put your hands on your hips with ardhachandra hasta
- Aayatam- Stand with half feet about a cubit from each other in a square position with your knees bending a little apart
- Aalidham- The left foot needs to face front, and the right foot has to be perpendicular to it, katakana mukha needs be on the right hand and shikara on the left
- Prenkhanam- You can put a foot on the side of the the other on the heel with kurma hands
- Preritam- you must put one foot harshly on the ground at a distance of around 3 feet from the other. After that, stand with your knees bent, your left hand in Shikara hasta near the chest and the right hand stretched out in Pathaaka hasta.
- Pratyaalidham- The hands and legs need to be interchanged in the Alidham position
- Swastikam- The right foot is put across the left foot and you put the right hand across your left hand.
- Moittam- You need to sit in muzhumandi and touch the ground with each knee in an alternate manner. Tripataka hasta needs to be on both hands.
- Samsuchi- The ground is touched by both the knees and toes.
- Paarshava Suchi- Muuzhumandi where the earth is touched by your toes and by a knee on one side
The Sloka is: ‘Sthaanakam Cha Aayatha Aalidham Prenkhana Prerithaani Cha Prathayaalidham Svasthikam Cha Motitham Samasuchikaa Paarshvasuchithi Chadasha Mandalaani Rithaaniha’.
2. Shtaanaka Bhedha (Simple Standing Positions)
- Samapaadam- Stand with your feet together
- Eka Padam- Stand on one of your leg and place the other leg on the knee of the leg in which you are standing.
- Nagabandham- In aramandi position, you need to keep your right toe in front of the left one and touch the ankle with the other leg.
- Aindhram- In the same position, you must raise a leg and place it on the knee of the other, and your hands need to be naturally hanging.
- Garudam- You need to place your right leg in front and stretch the left leg out on your toes. After that, both hands in dola need to be stretched above the head.
- Brahma Paadam- Padmasana, commonly called the ‘lotus position’ in yoga.
The sloka is: ‘Samapaadham Cha Ekapaadam Naagabhandhas Thathah Param Aidhram Cha Gaarudam Chaiva Bharmasthaanam Edhikramaath.’
3. Utplavanas (Leaps)
- Alaga- You must leap forward in aramandi and land in aramandi; after that you need to open both your hands from the chest level to above your head and shoulders in shikara
- Katari- You need to leap to the side and end with the toes of one leg in front of the other and both hands in katarimuga
- Asva - Leap forward with the left and right legs with bent knees before you straighten them. After that, your left-hand needs to be on your waist, and the right hand in tripataka depicts a horse.
- Motitam - You must leap to the side and end with the toes of one leg behind the other; the end position of the right-hand needs to be stretched at shoulder level in Alapadam and the left hand above the head in shikara
- Kripalaga - In online Bharatanatyam classes, you need to leap forward and end the right-hand position in the front in alapadam and left hand above your head in shikara.
4. Bhramari (Circling Movements/Turns)
- Utpluta - Here, you can leap with both your feet in the air and make a full turn
- Cakra - You need to make a full turn with a leg stretched out on the toes and continue the turn with the other legs stretched out on the toes
- Garuda - Make a full turn with a leg off the ground like an eagle/ hawk.
- Ekapada - Turn with a leg placed across the knee of your other leg.
- Kuncita - You need to turn in aramadi, with a leg placed across the knee of the other
- Akasa - Do a full turn similar to a star-jump-like manner
- Anga - Rotate the entire body in a full circle being in Preritam position.
5. Caari (Movements)
- Calana - Walk with your feet flat on the ground.
- Cankramana - Walk and place your heel and feet flat on the ground.
- Sarana - Move with your toes with feet flat on the ground.
- Kuttana - Move back on your heel.
- Vahgini - Run forward in little steps.
- Kuttana - Move back on your heel.
- Luthita - Lift your leg with knee bent and bring yourself forward, then place on the floor with your heel and then flat
- Lolita- adavu used in the pancha nadai
- Visamasancarah - Place your right leg in front of your left and vice versa; you can resume in a snake-like movement.
6. Gatibheda (Gaits)
- Hamsi - A movement like a swan
- Mayuri - In this Paadha Bhedas in Bharatanatyam, it is a peacock-like movement.
- Mrgi - A deer-like movement
- Gajalila - An elephant-like movement.
Contact Kafqa Academy
If you are interested in learning different Paadha Bhedas in Bharatanatyam, you can contact us at Kafqa academy. We provide the best Bharatanatyam dance classes online, and under our experienced instructors, you will learn Bharatnatyam faster and more effectively.