1 Pre-Foundation & Foundation /Beginner Levels

LearnDevelopOverall LearningDuration
Simple Adavus* (See List of Adavus at the end of page)
1. Posture:

  • aramandi (lower body posture)
  • saushthavam (upper body posture)
  • anga suddham (clarity of limbs)
  • ability to do each adavu in slow- medium-fast speeds, and maintain clarity.

2. Coordination of different body parts. This is a very critical and time consuming process.

3. Ability to relate theory to movements.

4. Ability to dance simple sequence of movements.

Initiation into the rigorous grammar that makes up Bharatanatyam.

Emphasis on the need to supplement class learning with individual practice at home.

Around 130 Classes.

This is based on the fact that in this phase the students will be learning 8 adavu grouping. Each group consists of 4 adavus on an average. 4 classes are set aside for each adavu.

2 Intermediate Level

LearnDevelopOverall LearningDuration
1. Complex Adavus
2. Dance Pieces

  • Alaripu
  • Jatiswarm
  • Swarajati

3. Continuing with the theory of Dance Introduction to the usage of Hasta (hand gestures) known as viniyogas

4. Two class assignments per semester

1. Build a huge mass of dance vocabulary.

2. Skills to dance complex movement sequences, known as korvai.

3. Ability to transaction from one movement to the next and from one speed to the other.

4. Ability to remember the order of movement sequences

This is allegedly the most difficult piece in the Bharata Natyam repertoire.

Exposure to the background of Bharata Natyam through class assignments.

Around 160 Classes.

This is based on the fact that the students will be learning 10 adavu grouping in this phase which are more complex in nature. Each group consists of 4 adavus on an average. 4 classes are set aside for each adavu.

3 Intermediate Level

LearnDevelopOverall LearningDuration
1. Learn to portray emotions.

Introducing Nritya, which is the narrative or story telling aspect.

2. Keertanam/Shabdam

3. Continue usage of hastas or viniyoga and class assignments

1. Skills to move different facial muscles to express primary emotions of joy, sorrow, anger, fear and wonder. This is accomplished first through introductory exercises and next through the dance piece itself.

2. Ability to project expressions.

In the first two phases, the emphasis was on nritta or the pure dance aspect, made up of purely rhythmic movements. Emphasis in this phase will be on nritya or expressions. Students will be taught to let go of inhibitions and develop ability to express simple emotions.
Around 30 Classes.

4 Intermediate Level

LearnDevelopOverall LearningDuration
Dance Piece: Tillana
Knowledge of pancha jaati or the five rhythmic variations used in Bharata Natyam.
Further grounding in the dance technique in preparation for the varnam, which is the magnum opus.
Around 50 Classes.

5 Advanced Level

LearnDevelopOverall LearningDuration

This is the most critical piece in the dance form.

2. Continuing with the theory.

Ability to move from quick and powerful rhythmic sequences known as jatis to softer expressive portions known as sahityam danced to lyrics.

Developing stamina as this piece on an average is of 20 -25 minutes duration.

Cementing knowledge of nritta and nritya through increased grasp of rhythmic movements and expressive ability. It is only after completing varnam, do we start talking about arangetram.
Around 100 Classes.

6 Advanced Level

LearnDevelopOverall LearningDuration
(minimum of two)

These are expressive pieces.

1. Increase skills to express emotions.

2. Develop balance to freeze into poses.

Reviewing all relevant pieces. We will start preparation for solo performance.
Around 50 Classes.

*List of Adavus


  1. Tatta Adavu (4)
  2. Natta Adavu (6 basic) (5 advanced)*
  3. Visharu Adavu (6)
  4. Pak Adavu (3)
  5. Peri Adavu (3)
  6. Tat- tai- ta- ha Adavu (7)*
  7. Tirmanam Adavu (6)**
  8. Murka Adavu (4)*
  9. Yettu Adavu (3)*
  10. Kuditamitta Adavu (10)
  11. Mandi Adavu (7)**
  12. Sarikal Adavu (6)
  13. Nadai Adavu(3)
  14. Tatimettu Adavu (5)
  15. Tai-taimtat-ta Adavu (3)
  16. Utplavan Adavu (last two kartari) (4)*
  17. Brahmaris (pirouettes) (3)
  18. Tai-tam Adavu (2)

* Difficult
** Very difficult